US wheat crop looking good

Scripps West Texas Newspapers -- Many farmers across the nation, including some in West Texas, are upbeat about this year's predicted record-setting wheat harvest.

Joe Compton and his family operate farms from Elmdale to Lawn, near Abilene, and he said this year will be one of the best they have seen in 30 years.

"This has been a great year for our crops," Compton said. "We've had a nice balance of moisture and mild weather that produced a large, good quality of wheat this year."

Dub Vinson, who operates Abilene Ag Service and Supply, said the 2008 harvest, which has just gotten under way, could be the biggest the Big Country has seen since he opened his business 30 years ago.

"We are seeing a large, good quality crop coming in across the area," Vinson said. "We think it could be a record year for everyone."

Vinson said Abilene-area farmers may see a record 1.5 million bushels turned in this season, which will top the 1.3 million bushels in 2006.

In the San Angelo area, agricultural officials are seeing early yields of about 25 bushels per acre. Local farmers have suffered through adverse weather conditions that are affecting yield.

Still, a Department of Agriculture report published in early May predicts a winter wheat harvest of about 1.7 billion bushels from 30 states. Should their predictions prove accurate, the 2008 harvest would be a 17 percent increase from last year.