Wheat Yields down 12-Percent, Quality Excellent
BOISE — The 2017 Wheat crop might go down in history as one of the best ever, despite lower yields from last year.
Idaho farmers produced 90.7 million bushels of wheat in 2017, but that's 12 percent less than last year’s total of 102.8 million bushels. The Idaho Wheat Commission says this year's crop is about statewide quality.
“In the 15 years I’ve been here, this is, in terms of quality, the best wheat I’ve seen statewide,” said Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson. “The whole state had a good crop.”
The Idaho Wheat Commission says that quality was excellent across the state and it's unique because growers in North and South Idaho grow different classes of wheat for different markets and there were very few discounts taken this year.
A total of 1.1 million acres of wheat was harvested in the state this year, down slightly from 1.13 million acres last year. Yields averaged 82.2 bushels per acre statewide in 2017, down from last year’s record of 91.4 bushels.
What Idaho’s wheat industry lacked in total production in 2017 was made up for in quality. Doug Barrie farms outside of Idaho Falls. He said after a late start and lots of worries the harvest was excellent.
“Our harvest this year was pretty good. We did about 100 bushels per acre, that's down from last year but the quality was better,” said Barrie.
Brian Darrington of Rupert set another personal record. He had a field of Soft White that topped 160 bushels per acre. But he also had fields that brought in 100 bushels, he said his average was 131 bushels per acre. He said that his 2017 crop was just as big as last year.
“We had a couple of fields that we had to replant last spring and we were off to a slow start, but we got caught up,” said Darrington. "We're very happy with what we had, we'll take a 131-bushel acre average any day."