KANSAS CITY —The grain market’s attention ahead of the release on Aug. 12 of the US Department of Agriculture’s August Crop Production report was centered around the harvest of a troubled US hard red spring wheat crop. To the surprise of traders, the USDA’s updated spring wheat production forecast was left virtually unchanged from July while its hard red winter wheat production estimate was lowered 3%.
The USDA lowered its forecast for all-wheat production in 2021 to 1,696,805,000 bus, down 3% from the July forecast and down 129,015,000 bus, or 7%, from 1,825,820,000 bus in 2020. Most of the decrease from July was based on lower estimates for hard red winter and soft white winter wheat.
The 2021 US winter wheat crop was projected at 1,318,735,000 bus, down 3% from the July forecast but up 11% from 2020. The forecast fell below analysts’ pre-report expectations for all winter wheat, which ranged from 1,330,000,000 bus to 1,376,000,000 bus.
The USDA forecast the production of hard red winter wheat at 776,855,000 bus, down 3% from the previous projection but up 18% from 658,640,000 bus in 2020. The forecast fell below the range of analysts’ expectations, which was 795,000,000 bus to 816,000,000 bus.
Soft red winter wheat was forecast at 365,508,000 bus, up 1% from the July projection and up 37% from 266,235,000 bus in 2020. Soft white winter wheat production was forecast at 160,241,000 bus, down 12% from the July outlook and down 32% from 233,969,000 bus in 2020. Hard white winter wheat was forecast at 16,131,000 bus, down 2% from the previous projection but up 32% from 12,179,000 bus in 2020.
In the top hard red winter wheat production state of Kansas, production of that crop was estimated by the USDA at 379,500,000 bus, unchanged from the July number but up 26% from 281,250,000 bus in 2020. Winter wheat yield in Kansas was forecast at 55 bus an acre, unchanged from July but up 22% from 45 bus per acre in 2020.
Production of spring wheat other than durum in 2021 was forecast by the USDA at 343,410,000 bus, down 0.3% from the July projection but down 41% from 585,990,000 bus in 2020. The projection fell within the range of analysts’ pre-report expectations, which was 300,000,000 bus to 365,000,000 bus.
Other-spring wheat yield was forecast at 30.6 bus per acre, down 0.1 bu per acre from July and down 18 bus per acre from 2020. Hard red spring wheat production was forecast at 305,421,000 bus, down fractionally from the July outlook and down 42% from 530,152,000 bus in 2020.
In the top spring wheat production state of North Dakota, production was estimated at 172,500,000 bus, up 7% from the July projection, but down 37% from 275,870,000 bus in 2020.
The 2021 durum outturn was projected at 34,660,000 bus, down 7% from the July forecast and down 34,148,000 bus, or 50%, from 68,808,000 bus in 2020.