Minnesota farmers turn away from wheat; corn, soybeans more profitable

  • Article by: Mike Hughlett , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 25, 2013 - 11:44 PM

Once the foundation of the Minnesota economy, wheat has been surpassed by other crops that are easier to grow and more profitable.

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dsteinbe1977Aug. 25, 13 8:23 PM

Even with this year's price drop, soybeans and corn are more profitable.

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denialoAug. 25, 13 8:27 PM

MN Farmers will also turn away from the DFL who slipped in the farm machinery tax that Dayton signed off on. Of course he said he didnt know about it, but that is par for the course regarding Daytons record. DFL!

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greatxAug. 25, 13 9:09 PM

denialo says: "MN Farmers will also turn away from the DFL"

"Will also turn"? -- I don't know any former around me who is not a republican. Farming is a business that the Democrats turned their back on years ago. Seems the Democrats can't make regulations fast enough to slow farmers down...

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neilgdAug. 25, 13 9:10 PM

Corn and soybeans easier to grow than wheat? No way, somebody gave you some bad information. Wheat is a much easier crop to raise. Minimal pre-plant tillage, some fertilizer, and some herbicide and then hope for some timely rains. I loved raising wheat for that reason, plus you harvest it in August, saving you some harvest time in the fall and giving you some much needed income. For those of us that also raise livestock, it also gives you a place to spread manure. The big drawback is the price. It just can't compete with corn and beans right now at these prices. This is the second year in a row I haven't raised wheat and I live in western Minnesota where wheat truly was king years ago. I hope the price can begin to compete with soybeans and corn as it would be so beneficial to have for crop rotation purposes. I think a lot of our problems with insects and herbicide resistant weeds would be lessened as well.

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william16Aug. 25, 13 9:54 PM

A similar pattern is happening in North Dakota, where a monoculture of tens of thousands of acres of soybean and corn(!) now stand where wheat once grew--incredible for arid and semi-arid regions, as corn needs at least twice as much water as wheat. The boom in corn is due to a government-funded bubble--the extra corn would not be planted if the government didn't artificially prop up corn prices through ethanol subsidies and mandates. Everyone who buys ethanol-blended fuel is essentially transferring some of their money to corn farmers, at the government's command.

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erikj3Aug. 25, 1310:03 PM

Corn and soybeans are more profitable for farmers because of government subsidies. They're also the crops that are making us fat, which in turn costs the government even more money (due to higher health care costs).

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rlwr51Aug. 25, 1310:23 PM

The big money is in loaning money to farmers to buy these big machines.

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rlwr51Aug. 25, 1310:27 PM

Corn and soy beans require more equipment to grow. Hmm - those who sell farm machinery and lend money to buy it wouldn't have anything to do with lobbying for price supports on those crops, would they?

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splinedAug. 25, 1310:31 PM

Past periods of high commodity prices such as the 70's offered farmers an opportunity to turn a profit. Current government insurance schemes along with high prices for corn & soybeans have guaranteed massive profitability to some farmers irregardless of whether or not a crop was produced. When government insurance schemes cover land costs those without land costs engaged in farming are obviously guaranteed a profit. Definitely a case of government throwing gas on the fire of rising land prices.

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orono77Aug. 25, 1310:48 PM

" I don't know any former around me who is not a republican. " -- Most farmers tend to lean right but there are several Dems across MN and the country. A close, objective review of the politics vs. famer's interests reveals how close the two sides really are.

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