Crop Production: Text Highlights

May 10, 2010 07:00 PM Editors

Winter Wheat: Production is forecast at 1.46 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2009. Based on May 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 45.9 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushels from the previous year. Expected grain area totals 31.8 million acres, down 8 percent from last year. As of May 2, sixty-eight percent of the United States winter wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition, 21 points above the same week in 2009, and heading had reached 27 percent in the 18 major producing States, 4 percentage points behind the 5-year average.

In the southern Great Plains States, mostly adequate rainfall this spring along with moderate temperatures allowed for good crop development. Record snowfall in Oklahoma aided the crop throughout the early growing season. Crop conditions improved from last year in all of the major Hard Red Winter (HRW) producing States. As of May 2, the percent of crop rated good to excellent in Oklahoma and Texas was 66 and 46 points above last year, respectively. The crop in the northern Great Plains States had adequate snow cover with limited winter kill reported. Yields are forecasted to be up from 2009 in Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas, down in Colorado and Nebraska, and unchanged in Kansas.

The delayed fall seeding in many of the Soft Red Winter (SRW) producing States led to emergence lagging behind the 5-year average. Precipitation has been lower than normal across much of the Corn Belt. The percent of crop
rated good to excellent declined from last year in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Yields are expected to be up from 2009 in Illinois, down in Missouri, and unchanged in Ohio.

A cool, wet spring in the Pacific Northwest has caused crop development to be slightly behind the 5-year average in Oregon and Washington. Yields are forecasted to be up from 2009 in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Durum Wheat: Production of Durum wheat in Arizona and California is forecast at a collective 18.9 million bushels, down 36 percent from the previous year. As of May 2, Durum in Arizona was 90 percent headed, 5 points ahead of the 5-year average. Scattered incidents of high winds causing lodging were reported in California.

Corn: Survey respondents who reported corn acreage as not yet harvested in North Dakota and South Dakota during the survey conducted in preparation for the Crop Production 2009 Summary were re-contacted in late April to determine how many of the acres were actually harvested or still intended for harvest, and to record the actual production from those acres. Based on this updated information, several changes were made to the estimates published in the Crop Production 2009 Summary. Because unharvested production is a component of on-farm stocks, changes were made to the December 1 on-farm stocks levels comparable with the production adjustments as well.

Corn harvested area declined 10,000 acres in North Dakota and 20,000 acres in South Dakota from the Crop Production 2009 Summary. The estimated average yield in North Dakota of 115 bushels per acre is down 4 bushels from the previous estimate. The South Dakota average yield of 151 is down 2 bushels from the previous estimate. As a result of these changes, corn production in the United States is estimated at 13.1 billion bushels, down fractionally from the previous estimate. The United States average yield per acre, of 164.7, is down 0.2 bushel from the previous estimate.

Hay Stocks on Farms: All hay stored on farms May 1, 2010 totaled 20.9 million tons, down 5 percent from a year ago. Disappearance from December 1, 2009-May 1, 2010 totaled 86.3 million tons, compared with 81.6 million tons for the same period a year ago. Compared with last year, hay stocks increased in the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Rocky Mountains, and much of the Southwest. Stock increases in these areas were largely attributed to improved spring pasture conditions and in many cases, higher 2009 hay production. Stocks in Kentucky and Rhode Island showed the largest increases with 116 and 100 percent, respectively.

Hay stocks were down in the southern Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, Delta, and most Atlantic Coast States. A harsh, snowy winter in many States in these areas caused hay stocks to dwindle as producers were forced to feed more hay due to the lack of available winter pastures. Hay stocks were also lower compared with May 1, 2009 in California, Washington, and Utah. Overall, the greatest percentage declines occurred in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.

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