The wheat market has seen jump over the holiday weekend with most grain elevators reporting an increase of price, on Tuesday, Jan. 2.
“Two factors are driving his rally,” said Will Mahony, grain merchandiser at Farmers Coop in Hemingford. “The first one would be that it’s widely expected the USDA will confirm reduced wheat acres this year versus last year with a near record for least amount of wheat acres planted.”
Along with the reduced acres, the weather has not been kind to growers so far this year. It was too dry when the crop went in and now coupled with the sub-zero temperatures. The wheat crop could have suffered some damage.
Mahony said, snow can help protect the winter wheat at this time of year, acting as an insulation against the freezing temperatures, plus it delivers moisture when it thaws out.
While the Panhandle of Nebraska had anywhere from 2 to 15 inches of snow, Kansas didn’t fare as well.
“We received about an inch and a half of snow,” said Jason Neilson, weather forecaster at the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kan. “And most of it was already gone, when the cold temperatures moved in this past weekend.”
He said the area is also behind in snowfall at 4 to 10 inches below normal in western Kansas.
While the wheat market is looking better, producers shouldn’t get overly optimistic.
“Long term we need to keep in mind with our stocks to use ratio, we still have ample supplies of wheat, even with the threat to next year’s production.” Mahony said.