Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.69 billion bushels, up 13 percent from 2011. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 35.6 million acres, up 10 percent from last year. Based on May 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 47.6 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels from last year.
Hard Red Winter, at 1.03 billion bushels, is up 32 percent from 2011. Soft Red Winter, at 428 million bushels, is down 6 percent from last year. White Winter is down 9 percent from last year and now totals 233 million bushels. Of this total, 14.1 million bushels are Hard White and 219 million bushels are Soft White.
Wheat Crop Comments
Winter wheat: Production is forecast at 1.69 billion bushels, up 13 percent from 2011. Based on May 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 47.6 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels from last year. Expected grain area totals 35.6 million acres, up 10 percent from last year. As of May 1, sixty-four percent of the winter wheat crop in the 18 major producing States was rated in good to excellent condition, 30 points above the same week in2011, and heading had reached 54 percent, 30 points ahead of the 5-year average.
The combination of a mild winter and spring, paired with timely precipitation, resulted in beneficial growing conditions in the Great Plains States. Precipitation this spring not only aided the winter wheat crop, but also improved pasture and hay fields, leading cattle producers to harvest wheat acreage for grain instead of hay. Current crop conditions have improved from last year in all major Hard Red Winter (HRW) producing states except Montana and South Dakota. As of May 1, the percent of crop rated good to excellent in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas was 27 points or more higher than last year, contributing to forecasted yield increases for those States.
Crop conditions were varied in several of the Soft Red Winter (SRW) producing States due to cooler than normal spring temperatures. Yields are forecasted to be down in the Coastal Plains States and the Southeast, where many States set record yields in 2011. However, yields are expected to be up from last year in much of the Corn Belt and the Northeast.
Warmer temperatures and adequate moisture in the Pacific Northwest left growers optimistic after a predominantly cool start to the spring growing season. As of May 1, crop conditions reported as good to excellent were unchanged in Idaho, down 8 points in Oregon, while up 18 points in Washington compared to last year. Yields are forecast to be down from last year in Oregon and Washington but up in Idaho.
Durum wheat: Production of Durum wheat in Arizona and California is forecast at a collective 26.3 million bushels, up 28 percent from the previous year. Due to warm spring weather in California, crop development advanced ahead of normal. If realized, Arizona and California's yield of 115.0 bushels per acre will be record highs.