Despite overly wet conditions and much lower crop condition ratings, the USDA is projecting only a small decline in combined Michigan-Ohio Soft Red Winter wheat production this year.
In its crop production report released Friday, the USDA pegged 2019 Michigan winter wheat output at 39.52 million bu, and Ohio production at 28.98 million.
For Michigan, that represents an increase of about 3.8 million bu or 10.6% from the state’s 2018 crop, while Ohio production is seen down roughly 4.7 million bu or 14%. Together, winter wheat production in the two states this year is estimated at 68.5 million bu, a decline of just 1 million bu or 1.3% from last year.
In its prospective plantings report in March, the USDA pegged Michigan winter wheat planted area for harvest in 2019 at 590,000, up from 510,000 a year earlier and a big jump from the 500,000 acres the government had originally estimated in its February winter wheat and canola seedings report. Meanwhile, the USDA estimated Ohio winter wheat planted area for harvest this year at 500,000 acres, up 10,000 from the previous two years and above the 460,000 estimated in the February winter wheat and canola seedings report.
But just as in Ontario, the two Great Lakes region states were plagued by overly wet weather last fall that forced producers to plant late and into less than ideal conditions. A lack of snow cover, standing water, saturated soils, ice sheets and bouts of extreme cold further hampered the crop over the winter and into this spring.
Monday’s USDA crop progress report pegged the Michigan and Ohio crops at just 43% and 30% good to excellent, respectively, well down from 66% and 77% good to excellent a year earlier.
Still, the USDA’s survey-based estimates put this year’s average winter wheat yield in Michigan at 76 bu/acre, unchanged from a year earlier. At an estimated 69 bu/acre, the average Ohio yield is projected down a substantial 6 bu/acre from 2018.
National Soft Red Winter production for this year is estimated by the USDA at 265 million bu, down 7% from 2018.
On the other hand, U.S. Hard Red Winter output, at 780 million bu, is estimated up 18% from a year ago thanks in large part to ample moisture and a big rebound in expected production in the key states of Kansas and Oklahoma.
Kansas Hard Red production is projected up 16.5% from last year to 323.4 million bu, while the Oklahoma crop is forecast to rise 50% to 105 million bu.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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