U.S. wheat crop forecast at 2,052 million bus, largest since 2008

by Jay Sjerven
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WASHINGTON – The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on July 12 forecast wheat production this year at 2,260,928,000 bus, up 184 million bus from the June projection as contained in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and up 209,176,000 bus, or 10%, from 2,051,752,000 bus in 2015. The July forecast was the first to contain survey-based other-spring wheat and durum projections. The June WASDE forecast was based on a survey of winter wheat producers as well as spring wheat projections based on the outlook for harvested acres and trendline yields. If the forecast all-wheat production were to be realized, the 2016 crop would be the largest since 2,511,900,000 bus in 2008 and would compare with the recent five-year average outturn of 2,092 million bus.

The U.S.D.A. forecast winter wheat production in 2016 at 1,627,664,000 bus, up 121,038,000 bus, or 8%, from the June projection and up 257,476,000 bus, or 19%, from 1,370,188,000 bus in 2015. The winter wheat forecast was based on a harvested area projection of 30,176,000 acres, up 345,000 acres from the June projection, and a record average yield at 53.9 bus per acre compared with the June projection at 50.5 bus per acre.

The U.S.D.A. forecast hard red winter wheat production this year at 1,034,058,000 bus, up 96,403,000 bus, or 10%, from the June projection, up 207,145,000 bus, or 25%, from 826,913,000 bus in 2015 and compared with the recent five-year average outturn at 819 million bus. The 2016 hard red winter wheat crop was forecast to be the largest since 1,046 million bus in 2008.

The Kansas hard red winter wheat crop was forecast at 453,600,000 bus, up 60,000,000 bus, or 15%, from the June projection and up 131,700,000 bus, or 41%, from 321,900,000 bus in 2015. The estimated Kansas average wheat yield was raised to a record 56 bus per acre from the June forecast at 48 bus per acre.

Soft red winter wheat production was forecast at 370,105,000 bus, up 15,500,000 bus, or 4%, from the June projection, up 11,050,000 bus, or 3%, from 359,055,000 bus in 2015 and compared with 450 million bus as the recent five-year average.

The U.S.D.A. forecast soft white winter wheat production in 2016 at 202,271,000 bus, up 6,877,000 bus, or 4%, from the June outlook and up 33,965,000 bus, or 20%, from 168,306,000 bus in 2015. Hard white winter wheat production was forecast at 21,230,000 bus, up 5,316,000 bus, or 33%, from 15,914,000 bus in 2015.

The U.S.D.A.’s initial forecast for production of spring wheat other than durum in 2016 was 550,494,000 bus, down 48,586,000 bus, or 8%, from 599,080,000 bus in 2015. The forecast was based on a harvested area at 11,835,000 acres versus 12,941,000 acres in 2015 and a forecast average yield of 46.5 bus per acre compared with 46.3 bu per acre as the 2015 average.

The hard red spring wheat crop was forecast at 511,460,000 bus, down 52,647,000 bus, or 9%, from 564,107,000 bus in 2015 and compared with the recent five-year average outturn of 502 million bus. Soft white spring wheat was forecast at 32,880,000 bus, up 3,433,000 bus, or 12%, from 29,447,000 bus a year ago. Hard white spring wheat was forecast at 6,154,000 bus, up 628,000 bus, or 11%, from 5,526,000 bus in 2015.

The U.S.D.A. forecast the 2016 durum crop at 82,770,000 bus, up 286,000 bus from 82,484,000 in 2015 and compared with the recent five-year average of 65 million bus.
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