TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma farmers are planting less wheat and are instead turning to crops such as cotton, soybean and corn.
The Tulsa World reports that figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that Oklahoma farmers harvested 70 million wheat bushels this year, down from almost 99 million bushels in 2017. Farmers harvested 136.5 million bushels in 2016.
Experts say the U.S., Canada, France, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and Argentina had record wheat harvests in 2016.
Troy Marshall is the Oklahoma state statistician for the USDA. He says Oklahoma’s long-term drought has also played a factor in wheat’s decline.
Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese says it’s difficult for farmers to profit from wheat with an overall surplus of the crop. Reese says he doesn’t believe farmers will abandon wheat in the long run.