Arkansas Farmers Doubling Wheat Acreage

DECEMBER 14, 2006 - Posted at 11:58 a.m. CST

SCOTT, AR - Arkansas farmers are planting double the amount of wheat from a year ago.  The crop is up to 750,000 acres.

Agriculture officials say the reason for the shift is that wheat is commanding higher prices.

Wheat for July delivery closed Wednesay on the Chicago Board of Trade at $4.86 per bushel.  Only three times since 1970 have wheat futures gone higher than that mark.

The increase in interest in winter wheat is part of a turnaround for the crop in the state.  From 1999 through 2004, wheat acreage declined in the state.

But the 750,000 acres planted this year is not a record.  In 1981, the state had two millon acres of wheat.

Officials say global wheat supplies are down so the prices are up, and Arkansas farmers are responding.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)