the country which experienced growth in personal income during the
first quarter of 1988, according to figures released Wednesday by
the U.S. Department of Commerce.
That indicates agriculture may be on its way back to playing a
leading role in the growth of Oklahoma's personal income, in the
opinion of Neil Dikeman, associate director of the University of
Oklahoma Center for Economic and Management Research.
Oklahoma's personal income grew by 2.4 percent during the
quarter, up to 42.5 billion. That was due to advance subsidy
payments to farmers on the 1988 wheat and barley crops, according to
the federal report.
Dikeman said an even better picture of the income for the state
would be seen in the second and third quarters of the year as the
result of higher wheat prices, which have averaged around $3.25 a
"It may be a signal agriculture is turning around," he said.
"The second quarter (report on personal income) will show results of
the spring wheat harvest, while in the third quarter we'll see some
continuation of hay sales and the peanuts crop."
According to Bob Bellinghausen, state agricultural statistician,
wheat prices are up about 75 percent cents per bushel over last
year's crop, with most farmers selling at the current price instead
of waiting to sell later.
Farmers are expected to take in $562 million as the result in
increased wheat prices, a 77 percent increase from $318 million
reported in 1987.
Bellinghausen said the agriculture department does not make
estimates of how the agriculture community contributes to personal
income for the state. However, he said it may be too early to tell
what impact wheat will have on farm income because of the deficiency
As the cash price on a commodity keeps going up, the deficiency
payment which a farmer receives from the government goes down. The
actual impact of the decline in deficiency payments won't be known,
Bellinghausen said, until about November.
About 93 percent of the state's farmers are enrolled in the
deficiency payment program.
Bellinghausen estimated the agriculture community will have a
$2.6 billion impact of cash receipts on the state's economy in 1988,
about the same as in 1987.
The commerce department study showed that without taking the
agriculture community into account, Oklahoma would have experienced
zero growth in personal income for the first quarter. …