WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its July 12 Crop Production report forecast 2021 US durum wheat production down 46% from 2020, spring wheat other than durum down 41%, and winter wheat up 16%, the latter up 4% from the June forecast.
Production of spring wheat other than durum was forecast at 344.575 million bushels, down 41% from 585.99 million bushels in 2020, based on a yield of 30.7 bushels an acre, down 17.9 bushels per acre from last year, and harvested area of 11.2 million acres, unchanged from June but down 7% from last year. Of the total, 305.395 million bushels was hard red spring wheat, down 42% from 2020. If realized, it would be the smallest hard red spring wheat crop since 181 million bushels in 1988, a year that featured similar drought conditions as the current crop.
Durum production was forecast at 37.24 million bushels, down 46% from 68.808 million bushels in 2020, based on a forecast yield of 25.8 bushels an acre, down 15.6 bushels from last year, and expected harvested area of 1.44 million acres, unchanged from the June 30 Acreage report but down 13% from 2020. If realized, durum production would be the lowest since 21 million bushels in 1962.
Winter wheat production was estimated at 1.364.205 billion bushels, up 4% from the June forecast and up 16% from 1.171.022 billion bushels in 2020, based on an average yield of 53.6 bushels an acre, up 0.4 bushels from June and up 2.7 bushels from last year, and harvested area of 25.4 million acres, unchanged from the June Acreage report but up 11% from 2020. Of the total, 805 million bushels was hard red winter wheat, up 4% from June, 362 million bushels was soft red winter, up 8%, white wheat was 198 million bushels, down 2%, including 181 million bushels of soft white winter and 16.3 million bushels of hard white.
All wheat production in 2021 was forecast at 1.746.020 billion bushels, down 79.8 million bushels, or 4%, from 1.825.82 billion bushels in 2020.
The USDA forecasts for all-wheat and other-spring wheat were below the average of trade expectations, while winter wheat forecasts were above.
Kansas City and Chicago winter wheat futures were up about 18¢ to 24¢ a bushel and Minneapolis spring wheat futures were up about 24¢ to 34¢ a bushel after the Crop Report on July 12. Minneapolis futures have soared to multi-year highs recently due to drought in the key spring wheat production areas of the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest.
It was the first survey-based forecasts for durum and other-spring wheat. Estimates were based on conditions as of July 1.