Kansas wheat could hit 100-year low

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Scott Van Allen is one of thousands of wheat farmers in Kansas.

His livelihood is a game of chance.

"The weather is our biggest benefactor, but it's also our biggest opponent," says Van Allen.

A wet and cold fall kept farmers like him out of their fields.

"I started planting wheat the first of October. I planted for three days and it started raining," says Van Allen.

Van Allen sits on the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Last week, commissioners met with the Kansas Association of Wheat Grows and predicted that wheat acres could reach 100-year lows.

"I don't think anyone from around the state came back with a very positive report, as far as wheat acres that were planted," admits Van Allen.

It isn't just weather that's causing the decline in wheat acres. Other crops like corn and soybeans have become more profitable.

"We've been losing wheat acres slowly but steadily over the years, because of crop improvements in the soybeans. Corn acres have been going up," explains Van Allen.

For the acres that weren't planted, all hope isn't lost.

"The acres won't sit idle, they'll get planted to another crop next spring--corn, soybeans, possible cotton, grain sorghum, but it pushes your paycheck farther down the road," says Van Allen.
 

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