Less U.S. Spring Wheat on the Way; Far Less Durum

The USDA is expecting a notable downturn in U.S. spring wheat production this year, while durum production will be down even more sharply than spring wheat.

According to the government’s first survey-based crop report released mid-day Thursday (July 11), non-durum spring wheat output is forecast at 572 million bu, down 8% from 2018.

The forecast is based on 6% fewer acres harvested for grain, along with a yield decline of 1.1 bu/acre from last year to 47.2 bu/acre.

North Dakota is the largest spring wheat growing state, usually accounting for more than half the total US production. In that state, the average yield is forecast at 47 bu/acre, down from 49 bu a year ago.

Spring wheat futures reacted to the USDA report with 7 to 9 cent advances shortly after the news was released.

Durum production came in at 58.1 million bu, down 25% from 2018. This is based on a sharp acreage reduction of 31%. For its part, the average durum yield is actually pegged higher than in 2018, at 42.9 bu/acre - up 3.6 bu/acre.

North Dakota is the largest durum growing state, sometimes accounting for more than half the total US production. This year, a smaller acreage and lower yield will slash production in that state. North Dakota is expected to produce only 25.84 million bu, compared with 42.46 million in 2018. The average yield in the state is expected to be 38 bu/acre, down from 39.5 last year.

Second-place Montana will see just slightly less production than a year ago, according to the USDA. ​​​​​​​

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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