Millers expect 23% drop in soft red winter wheat crop

by Ron Sterk and Jay Sjerven
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MARCO ISLAND, FLA. — Soft wheat millers at division meetings of the North American Millers’ Association in Marco Island March 8-11 forecast a 23% decrease in 2014 soft red winter wheat production but a 9% increase in soft white winter wheat outturn from a year earlier.

The Soft Wheat Division of NAMA forecast soft red winter wheat production in the United States in 2014 at 437,030,000 bus, down 127,877,000 bus, or 23%, from 564,907,000 bus in 2013. If realized, it would be the smallest crop since 419,801,000 bus in 2012 and compares with the five-year average production of 416,731,200 bus, which was pulled down by 2010’s low output of 237,429,000 bus.

Production was forecast down in all principal regions and in 20 of the 25 states included in the forecast.

The millers also forecast soft white winter wheat production this year at 232,713,000 bus, up 18,550,000 bus, or 9%, from the 2013 outturn of 214,163,000 bus. Of the soft white wheat total, 218,300,000 bus were forecast to be harvested in the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, up 22,646,000 bus, or 12%, from 195,654,000 bus in 2013. Soft white winter wheat outturn in Michigan was forecast at 13,578,000 bus, down 6% from 2013.
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