Crop demands change with Midwest flooding

Wednesday, June 18th 2008, 10:35 pm
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

Rising flood waters across parts of the Midwest could mean the price of crops in Oklahoma could rise, but even though the profits could be more than past harvests, local farmers are turning to other crops besides wheat to pay the bills.

"We've grown soybeans for a long time," farmer Tommie McPherson Jr. said. "I think there'll be a lot more acres of soybeans planted in Oklahoma than there has been in the past."

Farmers have a growing interest in soybean and corn because flooding in Iowa has left almost three million acres of the crops under water. With the flood driving soybean and corn prices to record levels, Oklahoma farmers could profit much more.

"I'd like to be optimistic about it, but it's kind of hard to be optimistic with the prices were having to pay for fuel and fertilizer," McPherson said.

McPherson said those costs have more than tripled since last summer, meaning farmers won't see much profit when the spring harvest come in.

In regards to the weather, corn farmers said the downpours have been beneficial to their crops, while wheat farmers worry if the next couple of weeks hold rain in the forecast, much of the harvest could be lost.

"The wheat really looks like it's probably going to be the best crop that we grow this year," McPherson said.

If the sunny skies don't hold and fuel costs don't drop, McPherson said this year's crop could be his last.