Farmers attend I-40 Wheat meeting in Vega

Diversified Ag producers in Texas Panhandle meet in Vega to go over a number topics concerning the 2018 growing season (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

AG producers in the Texas Panhandle were invited to attend the I-40 Wheat meeting at the Oldham County barn. Farmers in attendance learned about wheat diseases, the market outlook and specific auxin training.

“Wheat, makes a really good rotation here in Oldham County,” said Keith Brorman, farmer/rancher. “I like to run cattle in the winter time. It makes for a good overall balance as far as going to cattle and grain to corn, it just makes a good rotation in our area.”

Brorman is a diversified ag producer. He tells ABC 7 News due to 122 days of no measurable rainfall he anticipates the price of wheat may go up. On Monday, the price was at $4.55 per bushel.

“We heard today that prices could spike up a little bit due to the drought,” said Brorman. “That’s due to not as much crop being available so a good price excited me.”

The Vice Chairman of the National Wheat Foundation, David Cleavinger was in attendance. He recently returned from Washington D.C. where he met with elected officials to discuss wheat production and exportation.

“Our supplies that we have in United States, the production that goes on in the Texas Panhandle has a direct impact on these trade deals,” said David Cleavinger, Vice Chairman of National Wheat Foundation/farmer. “If the NAFTA deal is not signed it will hurt the Texas Panhandle tremendously.”

The U.S. exports 50 percent of the wheat it grows. Cleavinger tells ABC 7 News that 11 of 12 countries have signed deals in the Trans Pacific Partnership and those countries have a $1.76 per bushel advantage over the United States for markets in wheat.

“This tax deal was a good deal for everyone in agriculture,” said Cleavinger. “If you’re not having work trade and the trade agreements aren’t being signed then there’s no income to pay taxes on. That’s why we pushed to this administration is how important this trade is for agriculture.”

Drought conditions are nothing new to AG producers in the Texas Panhandle. As each day passes with no measurable rain, farmers tell ABC 7 News we’re one day closer to getting what is so badly needed.

“We had a good early rain back in October, August and in September,” said Amanda Spiva, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agent. “That gave us good soil profile moisture level but we're in dormant season right now so once we get the rain it should start growing and warm up.”

The meeting also included DeDe Jones, Agrilife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo who discussed wheat and cattle markets. Spiva focused on wheat diseases and conducted auxin-training in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated application requirements.

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