Some Area Farmers Capitalize on Ripe World Market

Area farmers are benefiting from bigger international demand for their crops. The unusually ripe world market is an opportunity one area wheat farmer won't pass up.

A Wildorado wheat producer tells me he just took home the highest price and profit ever for his crop. $8.64 a bushel. That's what Dale Artho claimed for several hundred bushels of crop Tuesday. Recent prices have hovered even higher than Artho's personal best. "What goes up always comes back down and to stay in this business what we try to do is.. to make money when there's opportunity," Artho says.

That opportunity is right now for farmers, as higher wheat demand in countries like India and China amid an international shortage means more appetites to fill with Texas panhandle wheat.  "As long as there's a greater demand within the world, then our supply becomes more valuable," Artho notes.

One local economist says a little patience could provide even bigger payoffs, though starting to strike price deals now is not a bad idea. "You wouldn't be wrong," says AgriLife Extension Economist Steve Amosson. "But you could be more right you know, just kinda waiting to see to get your price." Amosson thinks prices could rise even further this year before other countries can catch up in production. "I expect them to be increasing in acreage too. And when they do that if they have decent weather then you're gonna start to see the wheat prices slip."

He says the vast majority of wheat produced in the Texas panhandle is sold overseas.  And U.S. crops account for 22% of world wheat exports. That's projected to jump to 30% in 2008.