South Dakota farmers to harvest small winter wheat crop

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota farmers this year are expected to harvest the fewest acres of winter wheat in nearly half a century.

The Capital Journal reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ag statistics service estimates 780,000 acres of winter wheat will be harvested in July, down 29 percent from the 2016 harvest of 1.1 million acres.

Reid Christopherson, head of the South Dakota Wheat Commission, says many farmers didn't plant wheat this year because of low prices due to big wheat supplies worldwide.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated 900,000 acres of wheat were planted in the fall, but winter weather can damage some crops.

Total harvest production of winter wheat in the state is expected to be 43.7 million bushels, down 32 percent from last year.