WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on May 10, on the basis of its initial producer survey of the season, forecast winter wheat production in the U.S. in 2016 at 1.427 billion bushels, up 56.896 million bushels, or 4%, from 1.37 billion bushels in 2015. It would be the largest winter wheat crop since 1.542 billion bushels in 2013. 

Harvested area of winter wheat this year was forecast at 29.831 million acres, down 8% from 32.257 million acres in 2015, but the average yield this year was forecast at 47.8 bushels per acre, up 5.3 bushels per acre from last year’s 42.5 bushels per acre. If the yield forecast is realized, the 2016 yield would equal the record yield set in 1999.

The USDA forecast hard red winter wheat production this year at 862.522 million bushels, up 4% from 826.913 million bushels in 2015. Soft red winter wheat production was forecast at 356.569 bushels, down 1% from 359.055 bushels last year. Soft wheat millers in March had forecast the 2016 soft red winter wheat crop at 362.126 million bushels. Hard white winter wheat production was forecast at 17.386 million bushels, up 9% from 15.914 million bushels in 2015. Soft white winter wheat production was forecast at 190.607 million bushels, up 13% from 168.306 million bushels in 2015.

The Kansas wheat crop was forecast at 352.6 million bushels, up 10% from 321.9 million bushels in 2015. The USDA forecast the average Kansas yield at 43 bushels per acre compared with 37 bushels per acre in 2015. Participants in the recent Wheat Quality Council Kansas wheat tour forecast the Kansas crop at 382.4 million bushels with an average yield of 48.6 bushels per acre.