North Carolina farmers talk about rising wheat prices

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SHELBY, NC — The conflict in Eastern Europe has impacted gas prices, but it will also affect the costs of wheat products.

What do you want to know

  • Wheat prices are up about 30% in the past month, according to the Nasdaq
  • Indeed, Ukraine and Russia account for a large part of the world’s wheat supply

ASR Grain Company co-owner Steve Greene says he first jumped on a tractor when he was 8 years old. Agriculture runs in his blood and his relatives have run the farm for seven generations.

“I love being able to put a seed in the ground and watch God do what he does to make it grow,” Greene said. “There is no better way.”

Once that seed has grown and is harvested, they store the wheat in large elevators. Greene says they currently have about 150,000 bushels of wheat stored at their facility. Wheat is a big part of their business, and when prices are hit, so is their bottom line.

“It’s very difficult to plant a crop with unstable input prices,” Greene said.

Greene’s cousin, Andrew White, is the other co-owner of ASR Grain Company. He actively follows the stock market, and he says that even though wheat prices are up, that doesn’t mean they are making more money.

“We already had contracts in place at a lower price, so we won’t be able to take advantage of those higher prices on some, but some we will,” White said.

He says customers will eventually feel the ripple effect in stores. The price of crackers and anything containing wheat could go up.

“It usually takes several months before it boils down to the final product,” Greene said.

The co-owners say the big question remains whether they should plant more wheat during the season this fall, but they say that’s hard to determine.

“It’s hard to plan ahead,” Greene said. “It’s so volatile, and it’s hard to book a harvest or plan what your inputs will be for the harvest.”

The co-owners claim that fertilizer prices have increased by 200% over the past year. They use a lot of fertilizer in their wheat crops, which could also play a role in how much they sow.

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