WASHINGTON — U.S. 2009 winter wheat production was forecast at 1,502,074,000 bus, down 365,829,000 bus, or 20%, from 1,867,903,000 bus in 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its May Crop Production report this morning. (Clickhere for full U.S.D.A. report.)
The U.S.D.A. production number was about 2% below analysts’ pre-report trade expectations, which averaged near 1,526,000,000 bus. It was the first U.S.D.A. survey-based crop production forecast for the 2009 season.
The U.S.D.A. forecast winter wheat yield at 44.2 bus per acre based on conditions as of May 1, down 3 bus from 47.2 bus last year. Harvested area was forecast at 33,995,000 acres, down 14% from 39,614,000 acres a year ago.
Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 871,394,000 bus, down 16% from 1,035,235,000 bus in 2008, soft red winter at 422,313,000 bus, down 31% from 613,578,000 bus, and white winter at 208,367,000 bus, down 5%, including soft white winter at 187,603,000 bus, down 4%, and hard white winter at 20,764,000 bus, down 9%.
Hard red winter area was expected to be down about 9% from a year ago and soft red winter area down about 30%.
U.S.D.A. estimates for wheat by class also were below trade expectations.
Total winter durum production in Arizona and California was estimated at 25,275,000 bus, down 18% from 30,877,000 bus in 2008, the U.S.D.A. said.