Oklahoma wheat crop still shrinking
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Farmers in Oklahoma are producing less wheat because of a global surplus, low prices and the weather, turning instead to cotton, soybean and corn, according to state and federal agricultural officials.
Figures from the USDA show that Oklahoma farmers harvested 70 million wheat bushels this year, down from almost 99 million bushels in 2017, The Tulsa World reported . Farmers harvested 136.5 million bushels in 2016. Wheat accounted for a little over 18 percent of the state's cash crops in 2008, amounting to $1 billion harvested that year. Last year, wheat only accounted for 6 percent of Oklahoma farm income.
The U.S., Canada, France, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and Argentina had record wheat harvests in 2016, which is holding down demand and prices for the crop.
"I would say global supply and price has influenced the decline at least in recent years," said Troy Marshall, Oklahoma state statistician for the USDA.
Oklahoma's long-term drought has also played a factor in wheat's decline, Marshall said.
It's difficult for wheat farmers to turn a profit because of the surplus, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese.
"Farmers are definitely trying other crops — that's obvious," he said. "They're going to plant the crop that is profitable to them."
Major Kansas crop harvest nearly done
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The last weekly government report for the 2018 growing season shows fall harvest for the major farm crops in Kansas is nearly finished.
The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that the corn harvest is 96 percent in, while soybean harvest stands at 95 percent complete. About 89 percent of both sorghum and sunflower crops are cut.
Winter wheat condition is rated as 16 percent poor to very poor. About 39 percent is listed as fair while 45 percent is in good to excellent condition. About 89 percent of the 2019 winter wheat crop has emerged.
Mich. apple orchard owners to retire
OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — After more than 40 years of growing and selling Paula Reds, Braeburns and much more, the owners of a popular western Michigan apple orchard are retiring with bushels full of memories.
The Grand Rapids Press reported Steve and Rosemary Klackle have picked spring to retire from Klackle Orchards in Montcalm County's Oakfield Township, near Greenville. They say in a Facebook post that they don't know what's next for the farm, but they will "treasure the memories we have created with all of you."
The orchard also has featured hay rides, a corn maze, apple-shaped carousel, pumpkin patch and petting zoo.
Klackle Orchard's Cornucopia Farm Market remains open until Dec. 15.
S.D. corn, sorghum harvests concluding
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The corn and sorghum harvests are coming to a close in South Dakota.
The USDA said 90 percent of the corn and 94 percent of the sorghum is harvested. The sunflower harvest os three-fourths complete.
Sixty-nine percent of subsoil moisture supplies and 87 percent of topsoil moisture supplies are rated adequate to surplus.
Pasture and range conditions in the state are rated 46 percent in good to excellent condition.