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Report: Kansas wheat harvest forecast at 330M bushels

WICHITA, Kan. | A government report is forecasting that growers in Kansas will harvest 330 million bushels of wheat this season.

The latest estimate released Thursday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service is based on crop conditions July 1 and comes as wheat harvest is well under way in the state.

Its forecast anticipated that the crop will be 19% larger than it was a year ago even though farmers are harvesting fewer acres this year.

Kansas growers are expected to harvest wheat from 6.6 million acres, down 10% from a year ago. The larger crop is expected because average yields in the state are estimated to run about 50 bushels per acre, up 12 bushels per acre compared to last year.

Producer prices rise a modest 0.1% in June

WASHINGTON | U.S. producer prices rose modestly in June, another sign that inflationary pressures remain subdued.

The Labor Department said Friday that its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, rose 0.1% last month, same as the increase in May. Wholesale prices rose 1.7% from June 2018.

Toss out volatile food and energy prices and wholesale inflation rose 0.3% last month from May and 2.3% from a year earlier. Wholesale services prices rose 0.4% from May, most since last October, but goods prices dropped 0.4%

Energy prices fell 3.1% from May. Food prices rose 0.6%.

Inflation has remained tame throughout the record 10-year economic expansion, even as the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low 3.7%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cited persistently low inflation this week as a justification for potentially lowering short-term interest rates at the Fed’s next meeting late this month.

Starbucks to quit selling newspapers

NEW YORK | Newspapers at Starbucks are yesterday’s news.

Starbucks will quit selling The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Gannett papers like USA Today in more than 8,600 U.S. stores in September, citing “changing customer behavior.” Starbucks has sold The Times since 2000 and other papers since 2010.

The Times said it is “disappointed” and the Journal confirmed that Starbucks is stopping print sales. Gannett did not immediately respond to questions.

This isn’t the first time Starbucks has decided old media is too passe for its cafes. Remember CDs? Sales of those ended in 2015. No word yet if Starbucks is going to start selling records, which are trendy again.

— From AP reports