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Rains delay wheat harvest
For a wheat farmer to say too much moisture is a bad thing is like a truck driver saying $1 per gallon gasoline is too cheap.

Like all crop growers, Sam Bangs, of Bangs Bros. Farms, roots for a wet and plentiful water year, but it's the timing of precipitation that occasionally is frustrating.

"I should have been done with my harvest shortly after the first of August," he said Friday.

Rains the past two to three weeks have slowed wheat harvesting down somewhat, Bangs said. He and his brother Dan Bangs have approximately 70 acres left to gather at their Pleasant View property and more than 300 acres remaining at Indian Camp Ranch.

"A lot of rain will bleach wheat, but (right now) it's still of good quality," said Sam Bangs, who added that large amounts of hail are more of a concern to him.

"It peels the wheat right out of the heads," he said. "Heavy hail can damage all crops. It strips the leaves off of alfalfa and beats beans right into the ground."

Wheat and safflower are the main crops the Bangs brothers are raising this year as the duo runs their family farm in addition to working as custom farmers in Montezuma County.

Overall, the Bangs raise wheat on about 100 acres west of Pleasant View and on almost 500 acres at Indian Camp. Of the approximately 600 acres of wheat they are harvesting this year, Sam Bangs is expecting to garner about a $25,000 profit.

"At $4.25, it's not a wonderful price, but the crop is relatively inexpensive to plant and raise," he said.

Sam Bangs, who also works as a commercial weed sprayer, acknowledged profit is not the main reason he continues to raise crops.

"I enjoy watching the soil move and watching things grow," he said. "I'm not in (wheat farming) for the money. There's not much in it."

Bangs, of Pleasant View, mentioned that a $4.25 tab per weight - or 100 pounds - is the going rate, a price that has remained constant for most of the 30 years he has been in the wheat production business.

"It's varied some from about $3.75 to $6, but $4.25 has been steady for a while," Bangs said. "We figure wheat in bushels, but sell it in weights."

One bushel is equivalent to 60 pounds of wheat, which currently costs about $2.55. Bangs indicated his yield this year should range between 24 1/2 and 37 bushels per acre.

"That's a good number for this area on dryland irrigation (fields)," he said.

Mark Stack, manager of the Colorado State University Agricultural Research Station in Yellow Jacket, seemed to agree.

"That's fairly well in spite of the fact that we had no spring or May moisture," he said.

The research station's test plots of winter and spring wheat garnered about 40 bushels an acre this year on dryland irrigation spots, said Stack, who used about 50 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre to help boost crop production.

Bangs credited Mother Nature for a productive wheat yield this season.

"We've had lots of rain and snow last winter and a fairly warm spring," he said. "That combination is a big help."
MGR Archive 21.8.2005
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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