Winter Wheat Plantings Rise Amid Higher Prices

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A government report shows the nation's growers planted more of their land into winter wheat for harvest this year amid high prices and easing drought conditions in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The National Agricultural Statistics Service said Thursday that planting of winter wheat acres across the nation totaled 41.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A government report shows the nation's growers planted more of their land into winter wheat for harvest this year amid high prices and easing drought conditions in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service said Thursday that planting of winter wheat acres across the nation totaled 41.9 million acres. That's up 3 percent from 2011 and up 12 percent from 2010.

Kansas State University economist Dan O'Brien says analysts expected the figure to rise, but most didn't expect it to increase so much.

O'Brien says if farmers get adequate moisture in spring the added bushels will increase supplies and could lower wheat prices. But he says there's still significant uncertainty whether that production will happen because the La Nina weather pattern threatens to bring dry conditions again.

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