WASHINGTON, DC, US — The US Department of Agriculture in its preliminary 2021-22 US wheat supply-and-demand forecasts issued to participants in the USDA’s 2021 Agricultural Outlook Forum Feb. 19 projected reduced supplies, slightly lower total use and smaller ending stocks compared with 2020-21.

The USDA forecast 2021 wheat production at 1.827 billion bushels, only slightly above the 2020 outturn of 1.826 billion bushels, as a larger harvested area offset an expected lower average yield.

The area planted to all-wheat for harvest in 2021 totaled 45 million acres, up 651,000 acres from 2020 but smaller than the 2019 area at 45.5 million acres.

The USDA in its Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings report issued in January estimated the winter wheat seed area for 2021 at 32 million acres, up 5% from 2020 and the first increase in winter wheat acreage since 2013.

“In contrast, combined spring and durum wheat plantings for 2021-22 are expected to be reduced on higher expected net returns for corn and soybeans in the northern Plains,” the USDA said.

The data inferred a combined spring wheat and durum planted area at 13 million acres. The combined durum and other-spring wheat planted area in 2019 was 13.9 million acres.

All-wheat harvested area in 2021 was forecast at 37.2 million acres, up 0.5 million acres from 2020.

The USDA forecast the all-wheat yield in 2021 at 49.1 bushels per acre based on a long-term linear trend. In 2020, the average yield was 49.7 bushels per acre.

The all-wheat supply for 2021-22 was projected at 2.793 billion bushels (based on the 2021 production estimate, a carry-in supply of 836 million bushels and forecast imports at 130 million bushels), down 181 million bushels, or 6%, from 2.974 billion bushels in 2020-21.

Forecast at 2,095 million bushels, total wheat disappearance in 2021-22 would be down slightly from 2.138 billion bushels as projected for the current year.

“US domestic use is projected higher (1.17 billion bushels versus 1.153 billion in 2020-21), primarily on increased feed and residual use as the narrowing wheat-corn spread is expected to increase wheat feeding this summer,” the USDA said.

US wheat exports in 2021-22 were forecast at 925 million bushels, down 60 million bushels from 985 million bushels as the projection for the current year.

The USDA preliminarily forecast the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2022, at 698 million bushels, down 138 million bushels, or 17%, from 836 million bushels as the projection for 2021. It would be the smallest all-wheat carryover since 2014.

On prices, the USDA outlook concluded, “The tighter balance sheet supports a 2021-22 season-average farm price of $5.50 a bushel, up 50¢ from 2020-21.”