USDA Estimates Winter Wheat Crop
On May 11, 2010 the USDA issued their first official estimate of the 2010 US winter wheat crop. Additionally, the USDA published their supply/demand estimates for major crops, which included US wheat. Assuming normal weather conditions, the initial USDA estimates suggest that stocks of wheat will be ample through the 2010/11-crop year. It’s important to remember that a lot can change over the next 18 months in terms of production and demand. For now however, the USDA supply/demand estimates for wheat imply no supply related problems during the coming year.
As of May 1, 2010 the USDA has forecast a 2010 total winter wheat production of 1458 mm, down 4.3% from last year’s crop of 1523 mm bushels. This forecast reflects an 8% decline in harvested acreage – the USDA survey indicates planted acreage for 2010 is off by 13%, but above normal harvested acreage (as percent of planted) results in a narrower decline in acreage harvested. The overall winter wheat yield is pegged at 45.9 bushels per acre, compared to 44.2 last year. The key drivers of these higher yields can be attributed to rebounds in the expected yields in key hard red winter (HRW) wheat states.
The HRW crop is projected at 960 mm bushels vs. 919 mm YA. This increase is due in large part to higher yields compared to a year ago in TX (35 vs. 25), OK (33 vs. 22) and SD (49 vs. 42). The largest HRW state, Kansas, is forecast to have yields unchanged from a year ago, however the Kansas forecast includes a 7% decline in production to 344 mm bushels.
The SRW crop is pegged at 283 mm bushels vs. 403 mm YA. This sharp 30% decline reflects a significant decrease in the planted acreage. White winter wheat (which typically represents 80-90% of total white wheat production) is forecast to total 215 mm bushels, a gain of 7% from a year ago on larger planted acreage.
The USDA will provide an updated forecast of winter wheat production on June 10, 2010 and again on July 9, 2010 with adjustments to the crop total to reflect changes in conditions. The USDA’s first official (survey-based) forecast of 2010 US spring wheat and durum wheat will be released on July 9, 2010.
Bill Lapp, Advanced Economic Solutions