1931 Wheat Harvest Prices Points to Hardships

In mid-summer of 1931, Case & Company established a wheat buying and shipping concern at Jameson. They were buying approximately all the wheat the community had for sale, paying from 30 to 33 cents per bushel. At that time, it was said to be the lowest price ever offered for good wheat in this locality. By the latter part of June, most of the wheat had been shocked and the five or six threshing machines were slowly making their rounds over the county. The estimated local price for threshing wheat was only 6 cents per bushel!

In mid-summer of 1931, Case & Company established a wheat buying and shipping concern at Jameson. They were buying approximately all the wheat the community had for sale, paying from 30 to 33 cents per bushel. At that time, it was said to be the lowest price ever offered for good wheat in this locality. By the latter part of June, most of the wheat had been shocked and the five or six threshing machines were slowly making their rounds over the county. The estimated local price for threshing wheat was only 6 cents per bushel!

With wheat prices so ridiculously low, many farmers stored their grain in their bins, feeling it didn’t pay to sell or ship it. Only three cars of wheat were shipped from Jameson.

The following is an example of the purchasing power a load of wheat would be in 1931. A Callaway County farmer sold a load of grain. Of this grain, it took:

* three bushels to pay his bridge toll

* three bushels for the gas to haul it to market

* one bushel to pay for his dinner

* one bushel to pay for a couple of packages of cigarettes

* six bushels to buy a cheap straw hat

* two bushels to pay for a package of razor blades

* 25 bushels to buy his wife a cheap house dress

* the rest of the load went for overalls and hickory shirts for the children

Researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin (2003)