Wheat is the new gold in time of plenty for America’s breadbasket
As fires wreck Russia’s harvests and poor countries brace for shortages, it’s boom time for Kansas farmers.
By David Usborne
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Wildfires, floods, crippling droughts, and even a threatened plague of locusts have wrecked crops and ruined harvests around the world, raising fears of global food inflation shortage and food riots.
But as they hose off the dust and chaff caked on their exhausted combine harvesters, farmers in America’s plain states are adjusting to something possibly wonderful: a combination of unusually good wheat yields and suddenly soaring prices – thanks to disastrous circumstances elsewhere – has put them at the centre of a gold rush.
“It feels like Christmas in August,” admitted Darrell Hanavan, of the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee, noting that the harvest just completed in his state seems to have been the most bountiful for 25 years. More importantly, the dollar value for the crop is almost sure to set a record.