As wheat growers reap a record harvest because of spring rains, planted acres are likely to remain steady in Thursday’s USDA Acreage report, according to agronomists and analysts.
They predict either no change or minimal decline in the intended wheat acreage of 49.6 million acres, which is down 9% from in 2015. They also expect little change in the intended 36.2 million acres of winter wheat.
The predictions come amid a global wheat glut and a record yield. Growers are set for production of 1.5 billion bushels with a record yield of 50.5 bu. per acre, according to USDA.
USDA released its All Wheat Prospective Planting Report in March.© Christopher Walljasper/Farm Journal
Many farmers now harvesting winter wheat are getting ready to double crop those acres to soybeans, according to Ignacio A. Ciampitti, assistant professor at Kansas State University. Thanks to favorable weather, there is enough moisture in the soil to grow two crops, even with hotter summer temperatures, he said.
“Some farmers continue planting wheat, but others are changing their decisions based on commodity prices and switching to soybeans,” Ciampitti explained. Soybeans have soared since March on South American weather woes amidst strong demand; wheat growers, however, are facing an ongoing oversupply issue and now Brexit-related effects.
Some analysts expect a small decline in wheat acres. “Spring wheat acres may be down slightly from March estimates, with a small amount of soft red winter wheat acres tore up and planted to beans,” said Angie Setzer, vice president of grain, Citizens Elevator, in Charlotte, Mich. “Overall though, any major shifts in acreage when it comes to wheat will be minor in my opinion.”
USDA released its Spring Wheat Prospective Planting Report in March.© Christopher Walljasper/Farm Journal
Larry Shonkwiler, senior commodity analyst at Advance Trading in Bloomington, Ill., said he expects wheat acres to remain the same.
Going forward, weather will be the determining factor for crop prices regardless of whether the June 30 report contains any acreage surprises, observed Setzer.
“Next week's report may adjust expectations in the short-term, but the focus will return to weather, yield potential and what we see shaping up from a global competition standpoint as we work the rest of the way through the summer,” she explained.