Wheat the hot South Georgia crop for 2008 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wheat the hot South Georgia crop for 2008

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January 11, 2008

Lee County -- Wheat is the hot crop for 2008 this winter in South Georgia. The commodity price for wheat has more than doubled, and farmers have moved to take advantage of the higher prices.

You may notice more and more fields like this around South Georgia. This is wheat.   And farmers are hoping the bright green color in those fields will translate into more green in their wallets.  Lee County University of Georgia Extension Agent Doug Collins said "the price is up, and that's why there is more planted this year."

The price for wheat is in the five dollar a bushel range, more than double the usual two dollars of the past few years. World demand is up and supply is not, so prices rise.

South Georgia farmers are watching those prices closely, and planting what will make them the most profit.  Collins said "everything has changed dramatically in the last few years, so that's having a dramatic influence on the acreage planted in different crops."

Wheat needs less water and fertilizer than corn to produce, so it's a less expensive crop to grow. This field was planted behind cotton with no tillage, and so far the crop is thriving.  Collins said "This field and some of the nearby fields are some of the finest no till wheat I have ever seen."

It's not just cotton and peanuts in South Georgia anymore. Most of these farmers who have planted wheat in South Georgia will harvest in May or June, and then plant soybeans, for the best double crop profit on the commodity markets now.

Wheat needs some cold weather to grow, so farmers are glad to see next week's weather forecast of temperatures and more rain falling.

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