U.S.D.A. final 2012 wheat estimate 2,269 million bus

by Jay Sjerven
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The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 28, in its Small Grains Summary 2012, estimated U.S. wheat production in 2012 at 2,269,117,000 bus, up 269,770,000 bus, or 13%, from 1,999,347,000 bus in 2011. The final wheat estimate for the year was up 871,000 bus from the August forecast and compared with 2,270,000,000 bus as the average of pre-report trade estimates. The 2012 wheat crop was the nation’s largest since 2,499,164,000 bus in 2008. The recent five-year average U.S. wheat outturn was 2,185 million bus.

Harvested area of wheat was estimated at 48,991,000 acres, up 7% from 45,705,000 acres in 2011. The average wheat yield at 46.3 bus per acre was up 2.6 bus per acre from last year and matched the record-high yield from 2010.

Winter wheat production in 2012 was estimated at 1,645,202,000 bus, up 151,525,000 bus, or 10%, from 1,493,677,000 bus a year ago. The winter wheat estimate was down 2% from the August forecast and compared with 1,677,000,000 bus as the average of pre-report trade estimates.

Winter wheat harvested area was 34,834,000 acres, up 2,520,000 acres, or 8%, from 32,314,000 acres in 2011. Average yield was 47.2 bus per acre, up 1 bu per acre from a year ago. The 2012 average yield was the second highest on record after 1999’s 47.8 bus per acre.

The U.S.D.A. estimated hard red winter wheat production at 1,003,856,000 bus, up 223,767,000 bus, or 29%, from 780,089,000 bus in 2011. The U.S.D.A. said in commentary accompanying the summary data, “Planted and harvested acres were up from 2011 in most of the major hard red winter growing states. Particularly large acreage increases were experienced in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where dry conditions had limited 2011 planted acres.”

Soft red winter wheat production was estimated at 419,801,000 bus, down 37,734,000 bus, or 8%, from 457,535,000 bus a year ago. The U.S.D.A. said, “Acreage increases from 2011 were experienced in the Southeast with North Carolina seeding the highest acres on record for that state. Conversely, acreage decreases were seen in most states in the Corn Belt and Northeast.”

Soft white winter wheat production was estimated at 208,295,000 bus, down 35,390,000 bus, or 15%, from 243,685,000 bus in 2011.

The U.S.D.A. estimated 2012 production of spring wheat other than durum at 541,959,000 bus, up 86,771,000 bus, or 19%, from 455,188,000 bus in 2011. Harvested area was 12,055,000 acres, down 24,000 acres from 2011, but average yield was 45 bus per acre, compared with 37.7 bus per acre a year ago.

The U.S.D.A. estimated hard red spring wheat production at 504,520,000 bus, up 106,831,000 bus, or 27%, from 397,689,000 bus in 2011.

The U.S.D.A. estimated 2012 durum production at 81,956,000 bus, up 31,474,000 bus, or 62%, from 50,482,000 bus a year ago, when foul spring weather prevented farmers from seeding many fields intended for durum.

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