WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today estimated area seeded to winter wheat for harvest in 2013 at 41,820,000 acres, up 1% from 41,324,000 acres for 2012. Planted area this year was the largest since 43,346,000 acres in 2009 and compared with 41.8 million acres as the recent five-year average. The estimate fell toward the low end of pre-report trade estimates that averaged 42.6 million acres. While soft red winter wheat seedings were up sharply from 2012, hard winter wheat seedings dropped 2%.

Area seeded to hard red winter wheat was estimated at 29.1 million acres, down 2% from a year ago and well below the average of pre-report trade expectations at 30.3 million acres.

Soft red winter wheat seeded area was estimated at 9.42 million acres, up 16% from a year earlier and well above the average trade expectations at 8.9 million acres.

White winter wheat seedings were estimated at 3.27 million acres, down 2% from last year and compared with the average of pre-report trade estimates at 3.5 million acres.

Durum seedings in Arizona and California were estimated at 170,000 acres, down 31% from 2012 and down 15% from 2011.