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Too Much Wheat Is Forcing Its Farmers to Other Crops

  • Rabobank, JPMorgan say weather risk, fewer acres to lift price
  • Glut has spurred longest slump in decade as growers lose money
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Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
Updated on

Wheat is the weed that feeds. The grain-yielding grass is such a hearty plant that it is grown on more land than any other crop in the world. After four straight seasons of record harvests, bins are bulging from Kansas to Western Australia and prices are near the lowest in a decade.

But there are signs the glut may not last much longer, or at least that supplies may tighten enough to halt the four-year slump in wheat futures. Farmers are planting less because many are losing money. At the same time, global consumption is at an all-time high. And the risk of crop-damaging weather lingers over key exporting countries this year.