(WKBN) – There is a tough decision ahead for farmers — what should they put in the ground? For some, it’s a simple rotation, but there’s a big factor this year. The war in Ukraine is changing the price of one crop and some Ohio farmers may try to capitalize.
Planting decisions are always tough for farmers. Some may chase the money this year.
“Wheat prices are really high right now, so they’re interested in wheat,” said Laura Lindsey, an OSU associate professor.
The crop price is the highest it has been in 14 years.
Lindsey is an expert on soybean and small grain production. She talks with Ohio farmers who are considering a switch and provides them with key information.
“Our research shows that it’s a lot lower yielding. So you’ll get about half of the yield for spring wheat versus winter wheat,” Lindsey said.
The fields are still wet and Lindsey says waiting to plant spring wheat will yield even worse. She expects Ohio farmers to really consider wheat in the fall.
Kansas is the top wheat-producing state, growing it for bread. Ohio’s winter wheat is softer, used more for crackers, pastries, cakes and cookies.
“I like to think of it as the fun wheat, all the things that we like to eat,” Lindsey said.
Ohio farmers normally grow 5 million acres of soybeans, 3.5 million acres of corn and about a half-million acres of wheat.
They need to set up the crop rotations now to possibly capitalize on this monumental shift in wheat prices.
“It’s a business. They need to be profitable and if they can increase their profitability by planting wheat then that’s a good option for them,” Lindsey said.
Farmers usually don’t plant wheat after corn because they have a lot of shared diseases. It’s usually planted after soybeans, helping farmers have a second crop. There’s no time to plant corn after wheat because corn needs a longer growing season.