Wheat and More….or lessRegardless of where cash grain prices are, there is some good news for wheat growers in that prices for several key inputs are going down — fertilizers, for one, but also for certified seed wheat.
I did a quick survey of seed wheat prices in a number of areas and found that certified seed is generally down $2 to $3/bushel from last year.
Of course, there is some regional difference. For instance, seed wheat availability is very good in central and eastern Kansas because of high yields there. A lot of western Kansas is also in pretty good shape, but as you move west and south in the High Plains, the picture changes dramatically.
We all know what happened to the wheat crop in Texas and Oklahoma. Because of having much lower yields, seed wheat in areas is short. Thus, seed wheat prices are higher. I came across several places where certified seed wheat was over $l9/bu., for top varieties.
One western Kansas dealer was thinking of selling Fuller and TAM 111 for $l2. He says Fuller is pretty hot. But while TAM 111 has been around several years, Agri Pro royalties of $l.50/bu keep those prices high.
It’s also becoming the rule that even land-grant universities will be changing royalties with recent and new releases. Those royalties often run from 50 cents up to approaching $l/bu. I feel these royalties are clearly justified because those funds go into developing new varieties which will benefit us growers in the future. But they still add to overall prices.
A central Kansas grower I talked with projected that Jagger and other common varieties would sell for $9 to $l0/bu. He says newer releases will sell for up to $l2 and $l3 and even $l5/bushel, especially if they were from private companies like AgriPro.
Another western Kansas grower will be pricing his Jagger at $l0/bu. Yet another projected seed wheat prices from $l2.50 to $l4/bu. Another grower pointed out that years ago, it was felt certified seed was a good buy if it were priced at double the cash grain market. “Today, however, it should probably be more like 2.5 to 3 times the cash wheat market.”
A southwestern Kansas grower said his TAM 111 and TAM 112 are $l8/bu but with semi load lots, you could save $2/bu. Interesting, this grower is moving back to pricing his seed by the 60-pound bushel rather than the 50-pound unit. “Farmers sell by the bushel, so they ought to buy by the bushel.”
It is important that you ask if you’re buying by the unit or bushel because it makes quite a difference. $l2/bushel prices seem a lot cheaper when sold by the $l0/unit price.
Also because of the poor crop in the southern Plains, rye and triticale supplies are tight. That means seed prices for those crops is as high as last year or even higher. A lot of triticale is priced at $l2 to $l6/bu and higher. There is quite a bit of triticale and rye coming down from Canada, but be careful about the varieties you’re buying. What may seem cheap may be a worst buy if forage yields are low or if the variety is not well adapted to your region.