2016 U.S. wheat crop largest since 2008

by Laura Lloyd
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Wheat crop
U.S.D.A. estimates production at 2.3 billion bus.

WASHINGTON — The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 30, in its Small Grains Summary 2016, estimated U.S. total wheat production in 2016 at 2,309,675,000 bus, up 247,736,000 bus, or 12%, from 2,061,939,000 in 2015. The final wheat estimate for the year was down 10,910,000 bus from the August estimate and compared with 2,326 million bus as the average of pre-report trade estimates. The 2016 wheat crop was the nation’s largest since 2,511,896,000 bus in 2008. The recent five-year average U.S. wheat outturn was 2,094 million bus.

Harvested area of wheat was estimated at 43,890,000 acres, down 7% from 47,318,000 acres in 2015. The average wheat yield was 52.6 bus per acre, a new record high.

 Winter wheat production in 2016 was estimated at 1,671,532,000 bus, up 296,842,000, or 22%, from 1,374,690,000 a year ago. Average yield was 55.3 bus per acre, up 12.5 bus per acre from last year and a new record high. Winter wheat harvested area was 30,222,000 acres, down 2,124,000 acres, or 7%, from 32,346,000 acres in 2015.

The U.S.D.A. estimated hard red winter wheat production at 1,081,690,000 bus, up 251,244,000 bus, or 30%, from 830,446,000 bus in 2015. In its commentary accompanying the summary data, the U.S.D.A. said, “Harvested acreage was down from 2015 in most of the major hard red winter-growing states, the primary wheat-producing area. However, hard red winter wheat production totaled 1.08 billion bus, up 30% from 2015 due to the higher yields in 2016 compared with 2015.”

Soft red winter wheat production was estimated at 345,230,000 bus, down 13,824,000 bus, or 4%, from 359,054,000 bus a year ago.

“In the soft red winter-growing area, planted and harvested acreage decreases from 2015 were experienced throughout most of the region,” the U.S.D.A. said.

Soft white winter wheat production was estimated at 219,136,000 bus, up 50,055,000 bus, or 30%, from 169,081,000 bus in 2015.

The U.S.D.A. estimated 2016 production of spring wheat other than durum at 534,027,000 bus, down 69,213,000 bus, or 11%, from 603,240,000 bus in 2015. Harvested area was 11,303,000 acres, down 1,758,000 acres, or 13%, from 2015, but average yield was 47.2 bus per acre, up from 46.2 bus per acre a year ago.

The U.S.D.A. estimated hard red spring wheat production at 493,125,000 bus, down 74,512,000 bus, or 13%, from 567,637,000 bus in 2015.

The U.S.D.A. estimated 2016 durum production at 104,116,000 bus, up 20,107,000, or 24%, from 84,009,000 bus a year ago.

“Production in North Dakota, the largest durum-producing state, is up 37% from 2015,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Durum wheat production in Montana for 2016 represents a record high for the state.” 
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