What to expect from wheat in 2021
There is optimism in the grain markets as we head into a new year, and that includes the cereal grains. Here is what wheat farmers can be pleased about and what they can expect for 2021.
Gary Millershaski serves as a Wheat Commissioner for Kansas, a board member of the U.S. Wheat Associates, and the Chairman of the Hard White Wheat Committee. He says that part of that optimism comes from getting fair trade deals.
According to Millershaski, “Our current administration, right now, has done more trade deals than we’ve seen in my lifetime of farming, and with that being said, when they first started it was rocky because China was not playing fair and they got tariffs involved. They have everything straightened out and now we’re looking at the best prices we’ve seen on wheat.”
He is optimistic about wheat beyond 2021, especially from what he learned recently.
“We had a fall meeting for U.S. Wheat... it was more of an informational meeting about what’s taking place, and it was by far the most interesting meeting, talking about how China is playing fair, and we’re exporting more stuff to them this year then we have in the last ten years put together, it seems like.” he states.
He also said that while he is farming with his two sons, he is also thinking about the consumer.
He had this message for people that are not farmers: “We do it and we do it right because that’s the thing to do. I’ve been to many countries and I’ve never been so comfortable eating anything in the U.S., and I think that is one thing people take for granted. Our food supply, it’s number one and I actually think there’s a lot of people that take it for granted... I still think that a lot of people think that the grocery stores make that stuff, it’s not the blood, sweat, and tears out in the countryside.”
With all of this optimism, is there anything that he worries about?
“If regulations get put in that we can’t even compete. I know people don’t realize it but just like my father-in-law had a tractor and it was a relatively new Versatile. We had a heater hose go bad on it, well we couldn’t change the heater hose without removing a tire... when we’re putting the tire back on, I had a service manager from the dealer out, and he goes, ‘don’t hit the muffler... this muffler is a $20,000 dollar muffler to make it compatible with the Title 4 emissions.’ People don’t realize the amount of money that we are spending on these machines just so we can remain sustainable,” he adds.
He finished by summing up what wheat farmers do every year. “Just trying to keep in check that the wheat we raise is the good stuff for us,” he states. “Actually, we want to raise the best in the world is what we want to do.”