Wheat prices for farmers have flirted with $8 a bushel in recent days and are substantially higher than they were this time last year.
In fact, they are higher than they have been in a long time.
“Wheat prices are higher than they have been in quite a few years,” said Soda Springs wheat and barley farmer Scott Brown.
Wheat prices were in the upper $7 a bushel range during the final week of April. That’s about $2.50 per bushel higher than they were this time last year.
“That’s a pretty good price,” said Ririe wheat farmer Gordon Gallup. “Wheat prices are pretty bullish right now.”
The last time wheat prices were this high was in January 2013, according to grain marketing specialist Clark Johnston, owner of JC Management Co., a consulting and grain merchandising company.
The last really big wheat rally was in July 2012, when wheat prices were pushing $9 a bushel, Johnston said.
By comparison, the low wheat price over the past 10 years was $3.60 per bushel in August 2016.
Idaho and U.S. wheat farmers suffered through depressed wheat prices for several years following the 2012 and 2013 wheat rallies but that’s not the case right now.
Johnston said several factors are behind the current wheat price rally, including the fact that corn prices are up significantly. When corn prices rise, so do wheat prices because when corn prices rise, people start feeding their livestock more wheat.
Wheat export markets for U.S. farmers are also good right now because of favorable exchange rates, he said, and wheat crops in some major wheat-growing states could be down this year.