The USDA forecast the 2017 hard red winter wheat crop at 737.458 million bushels, down 344.232 million bushels, or 32%, from 1.082 billion bushels in 2016. It would be the smallest hard red winter wheat crop since 682 million bushels in 2006 but similar in size to the 2013 crop of 739 million bushels. The recent five-year average hard red winter wheat outturn was 879 million bushels. The USDA noted the hard red winter wheat harvested area was forecast to be down 18% from 2016.
The USDA forecast the Kansas crop at 289.8 million bushels, down 177.6 million bushels, or 38%, from 467.4 million bushels in 2016. The market had eagerly awaited the forecast for Kansas because of the late-April snowstorm that laid a heavy blanket of snow across much of the western third of the state. It should be noted the winter wheat production forecasts for Kansas and all of the other winter wheat states were based on conditions prevailing on May 1, in the immediate aftermath of the Kansas snowstorm and before any possible damage to the state’s crop could be fully assessed.
The USDA’s Kansas crop forecast compared with the Wheat Quality Council’s Kansas wheat tour forecast issued May 4 at 281.7 million bushels.
The USDA forecast soft red winter wheat production at 296.669 million bushels, down 48.561 million bushels, or 14%, from 345.23 million bushels in 2016. It would be the smallest soft red winter wheat crop since 219 million bushels in 2010 and compared with the recent five-year average outturn of 428 million bushels. The USDA noted the soft red winter wheat harvested area was forecast to be down 11% from 2016.
The USDA forecast hard white winter wheat production this year at 16.834 million bushels, down 8.642 million bushels, or 34%, from 25.476 million bushels in 2016. The forecast for soft white winter wheat production was 195.431 million bushels, down 23.705 million bushels, or 11%, from 219.136 million bushels a year ago.