Spring wheat outturn down 7% from 2008

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON – Production of spring wheat other than durum in 2009 was forecast at 506,354,000 bus, down 7% from 546,744,000 bus in 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its July Crop Production report.

The spring wheat forecast consisted of 470,115,000 bus of hard red spring, down 8% from 2008, and 36,239,000 bus of white spring, up 3%, consisting of 6,147,000 bus of hard white, down 3%, and 30,092,000 bus of soft white, up 4%.

Durum production was forecast at 81,217,000 bus, down 4% from 84,877,000 bus in 2008 but up 12% from 72,224,000 bus in 2007.

Winter wheat production was forecast at 1,524,771,000 bus, up 2% from 1,491,769,000 bus forecast in June but down 18% from 1,867,903,000 bus in 2008. Of the total, hard red winter production was forecast at 902,677,000 bus, up 4% from June but down 13% from last year, and soft red winter at 413,722,000 bus, down slightly from June and down 33% from 2008. White winter wheat was forecast at 208,372,000 bus, down slightly from June and down 5% from 2008, and consisting of 22,401,000 bus of hard white, up 6% from June but down 1% from 2008, and 185,971,000 bus of soft white, down 1% from June and down 5% from 2008.

All wheat production was forecast at 2,112,342,000 bus, down 387,182,000 bus, or 15%, from 2,499,524,000 bus in 2008.

The U.S.D.A. production numbers were slightly above the average of trade expectations for all wheat, all winter, hard red winter, white winter and other spring wheat but below average expectations for durum and soft red winter wheat.

Yields were below 2008 levels for all classes of wheat except durum. The all wheat yield was forecast at 41.9 bus an acre, down 3 bus from 2008, winter wheat at 43.8 bus an acre, down 0.1 bu from June and down 3.4 bus from last year, and other spring at 38.3 bus an acre, down 2.2 bus from 2008. Durum yield was forecast at 33.1 bus an acre, up from 32.8 bus a year ago.

Wheat area for harvest was unchanged from the June 30 U.S.D.A. Acreage report, with other spring estimated at 13,205,000 acres, down 2% from 2008, durum at 2,453,000 acres, down 5%, winter at 34,787,000 acres, down 12%, and all wheat at 50,445,000 acres, down 9%.

Oats outturn in 2009 was forecast at 91,277,000 bus, up 3% from the record low production of 88,635,000 bus in 2008. Barley outturn was forecast at 203,329,000 bus, down 15% from 239,498,000 bus last year.

Production numbers for spring wheat, durum, oats and barley were the first U.S.D.A. survey-based forecasts of 2009 and were based on conditions as of July 1.

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