U.S.D.A. forecasts winter wheat output down slightly

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast 2007 U.S. winter wheat production at 1,609,679,000 bus, down 5,934,000 bus from its initial May forecast but up 311,598,000 bus, or 24%, from last year’s drought-reduced crop of 1,298,081,000 bus (click here to read report).

If realized, it would be the largest U.S. winter wheat crop since 2003. The U.S.D.A. forecast yield at 43.2 bus per acre based on conditions as of June 1, down 0.3 bus from May but up 1.5 bus from 2006. Harvested area was forecast at 37.2 million acres, up slightly from May and up 20% from a year ago.

Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 1,031,745,000 bus, up 3,449,000 bus from May and up 51% from last year. Soft red winter production was forecast at 340,525,000 bus, down 6,139,000 and down 13% from 2006. White winter wheat was forecast at 237,407,000 bus, down 1% from May but up 5% from 2006.

The U.S.D.A. forecasts for all winter wheat, hard red winter and soft red winter were below average pre-report trade estimates.

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