WASHINGTON, DC, US — The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture estimated area planted to winter wheat for harvest in 2021 at 31.99 million acres, up 1.58 million acres, or 5%, from record-low seedings of 30.42 million acres in 2020 and compared with 31.47 million acres in 2019. The estimate contained in the annual Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings report issued Jan. 12 compared with the average of pre-report trade estimates at 31.53 million acres.

The all-winter wheat area planted for harvest this year was the fourth smallest on record but would be the largest seeded area since 32.54 million acres in 2018. The recent five-year average winter wheat planted area was 32.66 million acres.

Of the all-winter wheat planted area, 22.30 million acres were estimated to have been planted to hard red winter wheat, up 4% from 21.36 million acres in 2020. 

“Planted acreage is up from last year across most of the growing region,” NASS said. “The largest increases in planted acreage are estimated in Kansas, Montana and North Dakota, while the largest decreases are estimated in Nebraska and Texas. Record-low average was seeded in Nebraska and Utah.”

The USDA estimated the 2021 soft red winter wheat planted area at 6.23 million acres, 12% larger than the 2020 planted area at 5.56 million acres.

“Compared with last year, the largest acreage increases are expected in Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, while the largest acreage decreases are expected in Georgia, Maryland and Ohio,” NASS explained.

And the estimated white winter wheat area in 2021 was 3.48 million acres, only slightly lower than 3.49 million acres planted for harvest in 2020.

The NASS said, “Planting throughout the Pacific Northwest was ahead of the five-year average throughout most of the planting process. Seeding was virtually complete in the region by early November.”

NASS estimated durum seedings in Arizona and California for harvest this year at a combined 70,000 acres, down 5% from 74,000 acres in 2020.