Agronomists told Dow Jones Newswires that U.S. producers planted 4 to 15% more acres of hard red winter wheat than last year after prices rallied to reach 10-year highs.
Kansas, the leading wheat state, has an estimated 10-15% more HRW acres planted this year, while Oklahoma and Texas have about 5% more.
Allan Fritz, Kansas State University professor of agronomy, says that state's higher acreage was "all driven by price."
"Just driving around the state, there's a lot of fields that would have been left open for summer crops that have been planted for wheat," Fritz says.
Futures of HRW wheat, which is used to make bread, hit 10-year highs at the Kansas City Board of Trade last month at $5.56 a bushel, driven by global supply concerns due in part to a devastating drought in Australia. Prices for December KCBT wheat had settled at $5.18 3/4 on Tuesday.
"Five dollars a bushel does not go unnoticed in the wheat world," says Travis Miller, associate head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University.