Ohio Down as USDA Cuts Soft Red Winter Forecast



The crop in waterlogged Ohio got smaller as the USDA trimmed its 2019 U.S. Soft Red Winter wheat production forecast this week.

In its monthly crop production report released Tuesday, the USDA forecast the national Soft Red crop at 258 million bu, down 2% from its May estimate and now 27.5 million bu or 9.6% below a year earlier.

Some of that decline in national production can be attributed to Ohio, where particularly heavy rain so far this spring has negatively impacted crop development. The average expected Ohio winter wheat yield is now pegged by the USDA at just 63 bu/acre, down a major 6 bu from the government’s May estimate and 12 bu below a year earlier. Harvested area in the state is seen at 420,000 acres, versus the fall planted area of 500,000 and last year’s harvested area of 450,000 acres.

With the yield and harvested area both down from the previous year, total 2019 Ohio winter wheat production is seen at 26.46 million bu – down 21.6% from 2018.

For Michigan, which has also been adversely impacted by heavy rainfall this spring, this year’s average winter wheat yield was cut by the USDA by 2 bu from last month to 74 bu/acre, down from 76 bu last year.

But at 520,000 acres, forecasted Michigan winter wheat harvested area compares to the fall planted area of 590,000 and just 470,000 acres last year, pushing total expected production for this year to 38.48 million bu, an increase of 7.7% from the 2018 crop of 35.72 million bu.

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 made for a difficult winter for the crop, which has since been followed up by below normal temperatures and well above average rain this spring.

Total U.S. winter wheat output for this year is estimated by the USDA at 1.27 billion bu, up less than 1% from the May forecast and 8% above a year earlier.

In contrast to the expected decline in Soft Red production compared to a month earlier, Hard Red Winter output is seen at 794 million bu, up 2% from May and almost 20% above the previous year.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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