U.S. winter wheat crop forecast up 2% from May

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON — U.S. 2011 winter wheat production was forecast at 1.45 billion bushels, up 25.8 million bushels, or 2%, from the initial May forecast of 1.424 billion bushels, but down 35 million bushels, or 2%, from 1.485 billion bushels in 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its June Crop Production report on June 9.

The USDA production number was above analysts’ pre-report trade expectations, which averaged near 1.395 billion bushels. The USDA forecast winter wheat yield at 45.3 bushels per acre based on conditions as of June 1, up 0.8 bushels from 44.5 bushels in May but down 1.5 bushels from 46.8 bushels in 2010. Harvested area was forecast at 32 million acres, unchanged from May but up 1% from a year ago.

Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 777 million bushels, up 2% from 762 million bushels forecast in May but down 24% from 1.018 billion bushels in 2010. Soft red winter wheat production was forecast at 434 million bushels, also up 2% from 427 million bushels in May and up 82% from 238 million bushels last year. White winter wheat was forecast at 240 million bushels, up 2% from 235 million bushels forecast in May and up 5% from 229 million bushels in 2010. Soft white winter wheat production was forecast at 228 million bushels, up 2% from 224 million bushels in May and up 6% from 216 million bushels last year. Hard white winter was forecast at 11.6 million bushels, down about 1% from 11.7 million bushels in May and down 14% from 13.5 million bushels harvested in 2010.

The USDA numbers were above pre-report trade expectations averaging near 741 million bushels for hard red winter wheat, 416 million bushels for soft red winter and 234 million bushels for white winter.

Winter wheat production in Kansas was forecast at 261.8 million bushels, down 27% from 360 million bushels in 2010, Texas at 46.8 million bushels, down 63% from 127.5 million bushels, and Oklahoma at 74.8 million bushels, down 38% from 120.9 million bushels. June forecasts were unchanged from May for all three states. But forecast production was increased from May in Colorado at 68.8 million bushels, up 7%, in Nebraska at 59.4 million bushels, up 5%, in Montana at 101.05 million bushels, up 7%, and in South Dakota at 74.4 million bushels, up 5%.

"Improved weather conditions during the past month in the upper Great Plains resulted in higher forecasted yields,” the USDA said. “Forecasted head counts from the objective yield survey in the six hard red winter states are below last year’s level in all states except Oklahoma.

“Wet conditions in Ohio lowered yield expectations from last month. If realized, yield in North Carolina will be a new record high and the Michigan yield will equal the record high. Forecasted head counts from the objective yield survey in the three soft red winter states (Illinois, Missouri and Ohio) are all above last year’s levels.”

Durum production in Arizona and California was forecast at 23.5 million bushels, up 1% from May and up 14% from 2010.
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