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|Wheat harvest looks good|
Despite soaring fuel and fertilizer costs, local wheat producer Buckshot Sims said he expected wheat producers would still turn a profit when the wheat harvest begins later this month.
Sims, a Franklin Parish farmer, said the harvest should begin within "the next couple of weeks," adding some varieties looked "very good" while others were "just average."
"The wheat really looks pretty good," Sims said.
Wheat futures were extremely high, but fell back recently and that could mean less money for area producers.
Sims highlighted rising fuel prices, the cost of nitrogen-based fertilizers, and a sudden jump in pesticides as one of the biggest threats to wheat producers' bottom lines.
"We're still in good shape on it," Sims said. "These are the best prices we've had in a long time but expenses are through the roof."
It was not all bad news, though, as Sims estimated farmers would pull between 70 and 80 bushels an acre in wheat from the fields.
That volume, Sims said, should not present any issues for the grain elevators that recently saw capacity with the 2007 corn harvest.
Once wheat is out of the field, Sims expected some producers would move quickly to replant with cotton and soybeans.
"That's what's neat about the wheat," Sims said. "We can cut it one day and start planting the field the next."