Pro Farmer Editors
2008 Summary: Wheat
All Wheat: Production totals 2.50 billion bushels in 2008, unchanged from the Small Grains 2008 Summary but up 22 percent from 2007. Grain area is 55.7 million acres, up 9 percent from last year. The U.S. yield is 44.9 bushels per acre, up 4.7 bushels from last year. The levels of production and changes from last year by type are winter wheat, 1.87 billion bushels, up 25 percent; other spring wheat, 547 million bushels, up 14 percent; and Durum wheat, 84.9 million bushels, up 18 percent.
Winter Wheat: The 2008 winter wheat production is estimated at 1.87 billion bushels, unchanged from the Small Grains 2008 Summary but up 25 percent from last year. The U.S. yield is 47.2 bushels per acre, up 5.5 bushels from last year's final yield. Planted acreage is up fractionally from the Small Grains 2008 Summary. This change to the acreage estimate is based on updated administrative data received after the Small Grains 2008 Summary. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 39.6 million acres, up 10 percent from the previous year. Hard Red Winter harvested acreage is up about 1 percent from the previous year while Soft Red Winter harvested acreage is up about 43 percent. Hard Red Winter (HRW) planted acreage is down from last year due to dry conditions at planting time in the Great Plains States. Although fewer acres of wheat were planted in Kansas and Oklahoma, producers saw good harvest conditions compared with last year's flood and freeze damaged crops which resulted in an increase in harvested acres in these States in 2008. Oklahoma's production is up 70 percent from 2007 and Kansas' production is up 25 percent. Colorado and Texas experienced drought situations that reduced production 38 percent and 30 percent, respectively.Overall, HRW production totals 1.0 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year's 956 million bushels.
Favorable conditions along with high wheat prices during the fall resulted in more acreage planted to wheat across all of the Soft Red Winter (SRW) growing region. This is the third straight year of larger planted area in the southern SRW growing areas with harvested area also increasing sharply. Production of SRW wheat is up from last year when yields were reduced by an early April freeze. Good growing conditions resulted in record yields in many States. Overall, SRW production is 614 million bushels, up 74 percent from last year when 352 million bushels were produced.
White Winter production is 219 million bushels, up 14 percent from last year. Harvested acreage in the Pacific Northwest States (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) is above last year's level. In Washington, yields are down from last year due to a lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures during the growing season. Although the Idaho and Oregon crops faced dry weather in May and June, conditions improved and yields were up 2 bushels and 5 bushels from a year ago, respectively.
Other Spring Wheat: Production for 2008 is estimated at 547 million bushels, unchanged from the Small Grains 2008 Summary but up 14 percent from last year. Harvested area is 13.5 million acres, up 4 percent from 2007. The U.S. yield is 40.5 bushels per acre, up 3.4 bushels from last year. Yields are above last year's level in all States except Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Spring wheat planting in the six major producing States started off at normal or ahead of normal; however, crop development and maturation continued behind normal throughout the growing season. Hot and dry weather during July caused the crop condition ratings to decline and accelerated maturation, but crop progress remained behind normal. Harvest progress lagged behind the normal pace in all States in the growing area.
Durum Wheat: Production for 2008 totaled 84.9 million bushels, unchanged from the Small Grains 2008 Summary but up 18 percent from 2007. Grain area harvested is 2.58 million acres, up 22 percent from the previous year. The U.S. yield is estimated at 32.8 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from 2007. In the northern Great Plains, warm, dry conditions during the months of June and July accelerated crop development and decreased the yield from last year. Yields are below last year's level in all States except California.
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