One crop that has dropped in popularity in Elkhart County is wheat. Back in 1910, there were 34,877 acres of wheat grown in the county, or 17 percent of our farmland at that time. In 2017, the Census of Agriculture reports only 2,354 acres of wheat was grown on our 174,929 acres of farmland.

I suspect much of that wheat was grown for the straw, rather than the grain. The market for wheat grain has largely been unprofitable two-thirds of the past 50 years, but when combined with the straw market, it does appear more profitable.

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or

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