WASHINGTON — The preliminary national average price received by farmers for all wheat in March was $4.75 per bu, up 4c from $4.71 in February, 96c above the March 2006 average of $3.79, and the highest since $5.25 in June 1996, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Agricultural Prices report.
The preliminary March index for all crops was 144% of the 1990-92 base of 100, up 4.3% from the revised February index of 138 and up 22% from the March 2006 index of 118. The March indexes for food grains and oil-bearing crops were unchanged from February while the feed grains index was slightly lower. All indexes were well above year-ago levels.
The national average price received for winter wheat in March was $4.66 per bu, down 1c from February but 84c above the $3.82 average a year ago.
The average price for durum was $5.33 per bu, up 17c from $4.67 in February, $1.94 above the March 2006 average of $3.39, and the highest since $5.35 in September 1997.
The price for spring wheat other than durum, at $4.78 per bu, was up 5c from $4.73 in February, 93c above the $3.85 average a year ago and the highest since $5.28 in July 1996.
The average price paid for hard red winter wheat in February was $4.72 per bu, down 1c from January but 68c above the March 2006 average of $4.04. The February price for soft red winter was $4.09 a bu, up 5c from January and up 68c from $3.41 a year earlier. Hard red spring wheat averaged $4.73 a bu in February, up 19c from a month earlier and 83c above $3.90 in March 2006. White wheat prices averaged $4.75 a bu, up 41c from January and $1.57 above the March 2006 average of $3.18. Wheat-by-class prices lag other wheat prices because preliminary values for the most recent month are not released.
The average price paid for rough rice in March was $9.86 per cwt, down 24c from February but $1.81 above the March 2006 price of $8.05.
The index of prices received for food grains in March was 154, unchanged from the revised February level and 24% above 124 in March 2006.
The average price received by farmers for corn in March was $3.36 per bu, down 8c from $3.44 in February but up $1.30 from $2.06 in March 2006. Farmers received an average of $6.74 per cwt for grain sorghum in March, down 24c from February but up $3.20 from March 2006. The average price for oats was $2.24 per bu, down 10c from February but up 42c from $1.82 in March 2006.
The March index for feed grains was 149, down about 1% from the revised level of 150 in February but 52% above the March 2006 level of 98.
The national average price paid to farmers for soybeans declined 2c, to $6.85 per bu in March, from $6.87 in February, but was $1.28 above the March 2006 average of $5.57. The average price paid to farmers for all types of sunflowerseed was $15.40 per cwt, up 50c from $14.90 in February and up $3.90 from $11.50 a year ago. Flaxseed prices averaged $6.45 per bu, up 5c from $6.40 in February and $1.14 above $5.31 in March 2006.
The U.S.D.A. index of March prices received for oil-bearing crops was 123, unchanged from February but up 23% from 100 a year earlier.
The average price of market eggs was 68.1c per dozen in March, up 5.4c from February and 18.2c above 49.9c in March 2006. The average price of manufacturing grade milk was $15 per cwt in March, up 60c from February and up $3.50 from March 2006.
The March food commodities index of 134 was up 4.7% from 128 in February and up 17% from 115 a year earlier.