Winter wheat crop forecast up 2% from May

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — U.S. 2011 winter wheat production was forecast at 1,450 million bus, up 25.8 million bus, or 2%, from the initial May forecast of 1,424 million bus, but down 35 million bus, or 2%, from 1,485 million bus in 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its June Crop Production report this morning.

The U.S.D.A. production number was above analysts’ pre-report trade expectations, which averaged near 1,395 million bus.

The U.S.D.A. forecast winter wheat yield at 45.3 bus per acre based on conditions as of June 1, up 0.8 bus from 44.5 bus in May but down 1.5 bus from 46.8 bus in 2010. Harvested area was forecast at 32 million acres, unchanged from May but up 1% from a year ago.

Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 777 million bus, up 2% from 762 million bus forecast in May but down 24% from 1,018 million bus in 2010. Soft red winter wheat production was forecast at 434 million bus, also up 2% from 427 million bus in May and up 82% from 238 million bus last year. White winter wheat was forecast at 240 million bus, up 2% from 235 million bus forecast in May and up 5% from 229 million bus in 2010. Soft white winter wheat production was forecast at 228 million bus, up 2% from 224 million bus in May and up 6% from 216 million bus last year. Hard white winter was forecast at 11.6 million bus, down about 1% from 11.7 million bus in May and down 14% from 13.5 million bus harvested in 2010.

The U.S.D.A. numbers were above pre-report trade expectations averaging near 741 million bus for hard red winter wheat, 416 million bus for soft red winter and 234 million bus for white winter.

Winter wheat production in Kansas was forecast at 261.8 million bus, down 27% from 360 million bus in 2010, Texas at 46.8 million bus, down 63% from 127.5 million bus, and Oklahoma at 74.8 million bus, down 38% from 120.9 million bus. June forecasts were unchanged from May for all three states. But forecast production was increased from May in Colorado at 68.8 million bus, up 7%, in Nebraska at 59.4 million bus, up 5%, in Montana at 101.05 million bus, up 7%, and in South Dakota at 74.4 million bus, up 5%.

“Improved weather conditions during the past month in the upper Great Plains resulted in higher forecasted yields,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Forecasted head counts from the objective yield survey in the six hard red winter states are below last year’s level in all states except Oklahoma.

“Wet conditions in Ohio lowered yield expectations from last month. If realized, yield in North Carolina will be a new record high and the Michigan yield will equal the record high. Forecasted head counts from the objective yield survey in the three soft red winter states (Illinois, Missouri and Ohio) are all above last year’s levels.”

Durum production in Arizona and California was forecast at 23.5 million bus, up 1% from May and up 14% from 2010.

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