WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture on Sept. 30, in its Small Grains 2021 Summary, estimated the 2021 US all-wheat crop at 1,645,764,000 bus, down 51,041,000 bus from the most recent previous forecast made in the USDA’s August Crop Production report and down 182,279,000 bus, or 10%, from 1,828,043,000 bus in 2020. As estimated, the 2021 crop was the smallest since 2002, when 1,605,880,000 bus were harvested. The recent five-year (2016-20) average US wheat outturn was 1,939 million bus. The estimate for the 2021 crop fell below the average of pre-report trade estimates at 1,680 million bus.
The USDA, in comments accompanying its final wheat estimates of the year, said, “Area harvested for grain totaled 37.2 million acres, up 1% from the previous year. The US yield was estimated at 44.3 bus per acre, down 5.4 bus from the previous year.”
The USDA lowered its estimates of both winter wheat and spring wheat other than durum production in the summary report.
The USDA estimated production of spring wheat other than durum at 331,140,000 bus, down 12,270,000 bus from the August outlook and down 256,365,000 bus, or 44%, from 587,505,000 bus in 2020. The 2021 crop was the smallest since 205,460,000 bus in 1988, another year of severe drought, and compared with the recent five-year average other-spring wheat outturn at 544 million bus. The average of pre-report trade guesses was 327 million bus.
In commentary accompanying the other-spring wheat summary, the USDA said, “Harvested area totaled 10.2 million acres, down 16% from 2020. The US yield was estimated at 32.6 bus per acre, down 16 bus from the record-high 48.6 bus per acre in 2020.”
The USDA estimate for hard red spring wheat production in 2021 was 297,366,000 bus, down 8,055,000 bus from the August forecast and down 233,813,000 bus, or 44%, from 531,179,000 bus in 2020. It was the smallest crop since 181 million bus in 1988 and compared with the recent five-year average hard red spring wheat outturn at 502 million bus.
The USDA’s estimate for the 2021 winter wheat crop was 1,277,365,000 bus, down 41,370,000 bus from the August estimate but up 105,968,000 bus, or 9%, from 1,171,397,000 bus in 2020. The recent five-year average winter wheat outturn was 1,323 million bus. The average of pre-report trade estimates for 2021 winter wheat production was 1,321 million bus.
“The US yield, at 50.2 bus per acre, was down 0.7 bus from 2020,” the USDA said. “Area harvested for grain was estimated at 25.5 million acres, up 11% from the previous year. Record low acres were estimated in Utah in 2021. Record-high yields were estimated in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas for 2021.”
The USDA estimated hard red winter wheat production at 749,489,000 bus, down 27,366,000 bus from August but up 90,512,000 bus, or 14%, from 658,977,000 bus in 2020. Trade analysts had expected a 2021 estimate at about 780 million bus. The recent five-year average hard red winter wheat outturn was 800 million bus.
The USDA’s estimate for soft red winter wheat production in 2021 was 360,689,000 bus, down 4,819,000 bus from the August estimate but up 94,450,000 bus, or 35%, from 266,239,000 bus in 2020. The recent five-year average soft red winter wheat production was 286 million bus. The average of pre-report trade estimates for the soft red winter wheat crop was 364 million bus.
The soft white winter wheat crop was estimated at 146,904,000 bus, down 13,337,000 bus from the August estimate and down 87,083,000 bus, or 37%, from 233,987,000 bus in 2020. The recent five-year average soft white winter wheat crop was 217 million bus. The average of pre-report trade estimates for the 2021 crop was 176 million bus.
The USDA estimated the 2021 durum outturn at 37,259,000 bus, up 2,599,000 bus from August but down 31,882,000 bus, or 46%, from 69,141,000 bus in 2020. The average trade guess for the durum crop was 34 million bus. The recent five-year average durum production was 72 million bus.
“Area harvested for grain totaled 1.53 million acres, down 8% from the previous year,” the USDA said. “The US yield was estimated at 24.3 bus per acre, down 17.2 bus from the 2020 yield.”