Major Rebound Expected for US Spring, Durum Wheat Production 

The USDA may be projecting a decline in US winter wheat production this year – and a particularly sharp fall in Hard Red Winter output – but other spring wheat and durum is expected to see a major rebound. 

In its first supply-demand estimates for the upcoming 2022-23 crop year on Thursday, the USDA pegged total American all wheat output for this year at 1.729 billion bu, up 83 million bu from last year. With the winter wheat crop estimated at 1.17 billion bu, down 8% from 2021, that implies combined other spring wheat and durum production of about 556 million bu. 

If accurate, that would be an approximately 50% increase from the drought-reduced 2021 other spring and durum crop of 368.4 million bu.  

However, the USDA forecast does assume a return to more normal weather for the 2022 growing season, which at this point remains uncertain. Large portions of South Dakota and Montana are still unfavourably dry, while western Minnesota and much of the eastern half of the No. 1 spring wheat and durum production state of North Dakota have the opposite problem, with flooding and saturated fields badly delaying spring planting. 

The USDA’s March 31 prospective plantings report estimated 2022 US other spring wheat planted area at 11.2 million acres, down 2% from a year ago, while durum area was pegged at 1.92 million acres, an increase of 17% on the year. 

As for the breakdown of this year’s US winter wheat crop, the USDA is forecasting Hard Red Winter production at 590 million bu, down from the government’s April estimate of 749 million and a major 21% below a year earlier. Soft Red Winter, at 354 million bu, is expected down 2% from 2021, while White Winter, at 230 million bu, is up 38%. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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