Spring wheat outturn up 6%, durum up 25%

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — Production of spring wheat other than durum in 2008 was forecast at 506,568,000 bus, up 27,571,000 bus, or 6%, from 479,047,000 bus in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its July Crop Production report issued this morning.

The spring wheat forecast consisted of 470,502,000 bus of hard red spring, up 5% from 2007, and 36,066,000 bus of white spring, consisting of 6,299,000 bus of hard white, up 13%, and 29,767,000 bus of soft white, up 21%.

Durum production was forecast at 89,873,000 bus, up 18,187,000 bus, or 25%, from 71,686,000 bus in 2007 and up 68% from 53,475,000 bus in 2006.

Winter wheat production was forecast at 1,864,245,000 bus, up 46,881,000 bus, or 3%, from 1,817,364,000 bus forecast in June and up 348,256,000 bus, or 23%, from 1,515,989,000 bus in 2007. Of the total, hard red winter production was forecast at 1,040,021,000 bus, up 1% from June and up 8% from last year, soft red winter at 606,513,000 bus, up 6% from June and up 69% from 2007, and white at 217,711,000 bus, consisting of 23,300,000 bus of hard white, up 9% from last year, and 194,411,000 bus of soft white, up 10%.

All wheat production was forecast at 2,460,686,000 bus, up 393,964,000 bus, or 19%, from 2,066,722,000 bus in 2007.

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

Yields were above 2007 levels for all classes of wheat except other spring, which was forecast at 36.8 bus an acre, down slightly from 37 bus in 2007. Durum yield was forecast at 34.8 bus, up from 33.9 bus, winter at 46.3 bus, up 1 bu from June and up 4.1 bus from 42.2 bus in 2007. The average yield for all wheat was forecast at 43.5 bus an acre, up 3 bus from 40.5 bus last year.

Wheat area for harvest was unchanged from the June 30 U.S.D.A. Acreage report, with other spring estimated at 13,751,000 acres, up 6% from 2007, durum at 2,583,000 acres, up 22%, winter at 40,252,000 acres, up 12%, and all wheat at 56,586,000 acres, up 11%.

Oats production in 2008 was forecast at 92,872,000 bus, up 1,273,000 bus, or 1%, from 91,599,000 bus in 2007 and the second lowest on record after last year. Barley outturn was forecast at 217,819,000 bus, up 5,994,000 bus, or 3%, from 211,825,000 bus in 2007.

Production numbers for spring wheat, durum, oats and barley were the first U.S.D.A. survey-based forecasts of 2008 and were based on conditions as of July 1.

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