Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Wheat acreage continues its decline

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 2017 marked a 54-year low for wheat acreage in Mississippi, and 2018 is not much better.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports an estimated 50,000 acres in winter wheat for 2018, an increase of 11 percent. Production dropped to 45,000 acres last year, just three years after wheat growers planted 230,000 acres in 2014.

Erick Larson, grain crop specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said decreasing wheat acreage is a nationwide trend, as poor commodity prices relative to other row crops have led producers to consider other options.

“Wheat is not offering the same amount of profitability as summer row crops like corn, soybeans and cotton in the last couple of years,” he said. “Our climate is more conducive to summer crops, and we have plentiful rainfall. Wheat is mainly grown as a primary crop in regions much drier than Mississippi, where rainfall is extremely limited for summer crops and growers can’t maintain the level of productivity that they would like.”

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