A Cowboy’s Faith: Kansas is nation’s breadbasket – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kansas is nation’s breadbasket

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Known as the Wheat State and the breadbasket of the nation, Kansas typically produces more wheat than any other state.

Winter wheat, which is grown in virtually every county, is grazed by about 5.7 million cattle during the fall and spring and allowed to grow and ripen during the summer.

Green fields are turning golden as wheat harvest is just days away. With records of wheat production pre-dating statehood, there are indications that Kansas wheat production began as early as 1839.

The estimated direct impact of the wheat industry is $1.3 billion in output and 3,231 jobs. Including indirect and induced effects, the total impact of the industry on the Kansas economy reaches $2.6 billion in output and 11,087 jobs.

Eight bushels per acre in 1895 may have been the lowest per acre wheat yield in Kansas. Price then was 45 cents a bushel but was 42 cents two years earlier when the average yield was nine bushels per acre.

Kansas farmers planted 8.10 million acres of wheat for the 2023 crop year, up 11 percent from the previous year. Total production was 201.3 million bushels, down 18 percent, with yield per harvested acre at 35 bushels, down 2 bushels from 2022.

Wheat was sowed on 7.5 million acres for the 2024 crop with 7.05 million acres predicted to be harvested, up 1.30 million acres from last year. The crop is forecast at 282 million bushels, up 40 percent with average yield of 40 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from last year.

The value of Kansas’s wheat production for 2024 is expected to be about $1.51 billion, which is a 29 percent decrease from the previous marketing year. The projected price for Kansas wheat is $7.50 per bushel, a $1.21 decrease from a year earlier.

Cost-of-production for wheat in Kansas this year, according to economists, is forecast to be approximately $416 per acre, which is down 2.3 percent.

Monument, the top-planted variety since 2019, accounts for 6.6 percent of the state’s planted wheat acres.

Kansas wheat is used to make a variety of baked goods, including breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, and pancakes.

Reminded of John 12:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit”.

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.




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