Future of Colorado Agriculture

What are the critical trends in Colorado's food, fiber and green production? Will labor, water or cash be the factor that limits agriculture’s success in the next few years? What role do rural communities play in agriculture's future?

Colorado State University is spearheading an effort to discuss, define and consider the potential paths that Agriculture may take in the next generation. We need your help to highlight the important issues and offer your vision of what lies ahead. Extension specialists with the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics will facilitate the discussion both out in the state and on the internet.

Agricultural sectors are listed on the right-hand side of this web page. Take a look at the agricultural sectors and their respective issues, read the opinion of others, and post your own comments. You can also email comments and suggestions for discussions to futureofcoloradoag@gmail.com .

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Colorado Wheat Production

Wheat is ranked as the third most important field crop in Colorado behind hay and corn. Wheat yields in Colorado have remained reasonably consistent over time, ranging from an average 20 to 40 bushels per acre, which is somewhat below the US average (ERS, 2005). The wheat industry has long been an export oriented sector, with about 55 percent of the crop being sold overseas on average since 1975. The industry is also facing challenges as consumer change tastes and as other competitors become significant worldwide, and as farm policy progressively limits payments to the major commodity producers over time.

After many years of drought and low prices (see the Figure), wheat producers have enjoyed historically high prices and average or better yields. Is the relative era of prosperity likely to continue? Important factors influencing the success of wheat producers will include:

  • The proportion of CRP acres that return to wheat production. In Colorado, expiring CRP contracts mean that more than 1.1 million acres may be planted to wheat in 2009 and 2010.

  • What do increasing petroleum and natural gas prices mean for wheat cost of production?

  • Will irrigated wheat out compete corn for irrigated acres in Colorado?

  • Will private capital be invested in improving wheat varieties?


Anonymous said...

I think there are several factors in the future of wheat in Colorado. I think if the price of fuel and natural gas rise again it will affect the price of fertilizer and chemicals making them too expensive to use. I think the CRP acres play a big factor also, even if the farmers raise a 20 to 25 bushel crop that adds up to alot more bushels to deal with. If input cost remain high I think that more irrigated wheat will be planted because it costs less to raise it. I think the seed companies are always working on new and better wheat varieties that can produce more under the drought conditions we live in now.


Cassy said...

Well we did see higher prices in wheat for a while, but I think that the way the economy is going that it will be at a lower price before long. I understand that there are expiring CRP contracts in 09-10 but will people really put it back into wheat or will it be hay or something easier to farm? There are many factors in the fluxuation of wheat prices, but I also think that the amount of wheat that we export has somehting to do with it also. Wheat seed is also becoming higher in price because of the modification of the seeds so crops will be better, but will they really be better if we can't afford to buy the seed to plant the crop? I don't think so.

Morgan said...

There are some different things that are going to effect the price of wheat in the future. I think that the price of wheat is high right now but it is going to fall. Some farmers might put wheat into the CRP crop that they have if the prices still stays high. I also think that the price of gas will rise again making it harder for the farmers to make a profit. There are so many differet types of wheat. They can modify the seed so that the seed can be the best that it can be.If cost to produce wheatremain high I think that more irrigated wheat will be planted because you don't put very much in it and get alot out of it.

tylerschu said...

I think considering the fact we haven't got squat for moisture this winter the crop production may be way down into the range of 10-15 bushels per acre which would lower the amount of wheat producers in the future, this may also boosed the amount of number of farmers that irragate their wheat but that number won't surpass the amount of irrigated corn producers.

Marcus said...

Increasing the price of petroleum and natural gases will increase the amount wheat is because then the people will have to put more money in to having a profit off their crops. Irrigated wheat will probably never out compete corn because corn is one of the top two important crops and is above wheat in Colorado. I dont think there will be capital investments in wheat but it to florish more i believe people should.

kegan said...

the fact that the wheat crop prolly wont be any good in less you have irrigation means high prices for wheat because the is going to be a higher demand for the wheat. i dont think irrigation wheat will out do the corn becaseu corn is that same way with the ethonal.

Anonymous said...

I think wheat prices will continue to rise, or at least stay constant. THe 2008 Farm Bill suggest that grain prices will stay faily close to what they are. I think that CRP land will have an affect on the production of wheat, but not that much. I also believe fuel prices will affect the production of wheat as well. The biggest problem I see for wheat producer though is the drought, but I hope there will be more varieties of drought resistant wheat.

Anonymous said...

There are many things going on in Colorado’s wheat production. Yes, I feel that the lack of moisture this winter may affect the wheat production in our area so all we can do is hope for some this summer before it’s to late. And also the prices of incurrence are also supposed to go up along with gas prices this summer. If that happens I’m sure the cost of fertilizers will also go up causing some farmers to go with out it, giving them a poorer quantity, and quality on this years crops. This will cause less income for the farmers making it harder to put in next years crop, and also cause the supply and demand to go up on wheat again.


Willie said...

i agree with tyler if the wheat doesnt do good this year then the prices will fall. however i disagree with tyler's spelling and word choice. H. Maria would not be happy with him

Anonymous said...

the turn out of the yearly wheat crop depends on the rainfall, and if other crops will bring in more money for people they might stop farming wheat and farm other products. So The turn out is not easy to determine but I think that it will continue if we get the moisture we need.

Rood said...

I agree with tyler we haven't received enough moisture this winter and the crop production will be down. also because of this the price will be driven down.

Stephanie said...

I feel that production costs will definitely increase with increasing gas prices. It costs to transport any crop, I would imagine. Also, I do not think that wheat will outcompete corn at any point in time unless the food companies find a way to make aritficial sugar out of wheat. I say that because there is just too much corn ingredients in our grocery products and I don't see that changing.