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Southwest wheat acreage expected up from 2005

Wheat acreage in Texas and Oklahoma will be up from last year, according to estimates from Extension personnel in both states.

“In Texas, we’ll see acreage expansion this year just because last year was so bad. My anticipation is that we’re going to see more wheat acreage this year across all the Plains states. A 5 percent to 15 percent increase is projected, but I think the number won’t be as low as five or near as high as 15,” says Mark Waller, an economist with Texas Cooperative Extension in College Station.

While wheat prices are higher than they have been in recent years, corn prices are also high. That is another variable that could affect wheat acreage, according to Waller.

“With fertilizer looking like it might not be as expensive this year, too, producers might consider a higher-input crop such as corn instead of wheat,” he says.

Jeff Edwards, a small grains specialist with Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, estimates Oklahoma acreage will be up from last year, perhaps 5 percent in central Oklahoma and as much as 20 percent in the Panhandle. As always, he cautions that weather will have an affect on the final numbers. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service economist Kim Anderson confirms there were 5.7 million planted acres last year, and estimates 6 million acres will be planted this year.

Oklahoma is presently struggling with wheat pasture due to unseasonably warm, dry and windy weather. Extension specialists feel fall wheat production for grazing will be minimal. Oklahoma wheat is 64 percent planted and 34 percent emerged; five-year averages show 75 percent planted and 50 percent emerged by Oct. 10.

Brent Bean, Texas Cooperative Extension agronomist in Amarillo, says producers in the Texas Panhandle don’t seem to by facing similar issues.

“We had very good moisture for the month of August and the early part of September. Plus, the early part of September was actually fairly cool,” he says. “We are now getting on the dry side again, but overall we are in pretty good shape.”

As of Oct. 10, Texas wheat was 67 percent planted and 40 percent emerged, versus last year when it was 58 percent planted and 28 percent emerged. Texas’ five-year average for Oct. 10 is 66 percent planted and 38 percent emerged.

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