Crop prices are soaring for some that are key for our local producers.
Wheat, corn, and cotton prices are all up from last year, and record prices have been seen since then. Corn is up more than 70 percent from July of '07, wheat is up nearly 40 percent, and cotton is up more than 10 percent. Those numbers look great, but the cost of getting those crops from the field to the market is way up as well. Local Producer, Harold Artho told us, "Commodity prices are great right now, they're about double what they normally are, which is really good for us. Between the cotton, and the corn, and the grain sorghum, and the wheat it's a really good year for income. But also our expenses have more than doubled also between the fuel, and the fertilizer, and the chemical. It's kind of a wash deal."
Cotton yields are looking like they may be down from initial estimates, but they should still be o-k, and with the recent rain the wheat crop about to be planted should have a nice head start on the season. The market prices of those staple crops have been fluctuating over the past several months, but it's expected they should be settling down. Sha Gearn, a vice president at Amarillo National Bank said, "Wheat and the corn did, they peaked out at record, at all time highs, and they've come back off, like i said about twenty percent or so this summer, and i think we're probably going to hold in a pattern right there."
This year is looking average for most crops, but mother nature and the market will ultimately decide what kind of net profits our local producers see.