July 25, 2021

USDA projects winter wheat records

WASHINGTON — Illinois and Indiana join seven other states that are forecast to have record winter wheat yields, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The USDA’s crop production report issued July 12 pegged Illinois’ average winter wheat yield at 80 bushels per acre, a 5-bushel increase from last month’s forecast and 12 higher than 2020. The previous record of 76 bushels per acre was set in 2017.

This was the first survey-based winter wheat production forecast in the 2021-2022 crop year.

If the yield estimate reaches fruition, Illinois will produce 52 million bushels of wheat across 650,000 harvested acres. The state had 520,000 harvested acres in 2020.

Indiana’s winter wheat forecast hiked the average yield to 81 bushels per acre, 5 more than the June projection and 11 above 2020. If realized, this year’s average yield would match the 2016 high water mark.

USDA put Indiana’s harvested acres and 300,000, 50,000 higher than last year, and 2021 production at 24.3 million bushels, 6.8 million higher than the previous year.

Other states with record winter wheat yield forecasts are Kentucky at 86 bushels per acre; Missouri, 70; Maryland, 75; Ohio, 82; Oklahoma, 40; Tennessee, 74; and Texas, 37.

Nationwide

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 1.36 billion bushels, up 4% from the June forecast and 16% higher than last year.

Based on July 1 conditions, the nation’s average yield is forecast at 53.6 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from last month and 2.7 bushels above last year’s average yield of 50.9 bushels per acre. If realized, this will be the second highest U.S. yield on record.

Area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 25.4 million acres, unchanged from the acreage report released on June 30, but up 11% from last year.

Of Note

Drought conditions in the upper Plains have taken a toll on spring wheat production in that region.

North Dakota’s spring wheat is projected to average 28 bushels per acre, 21 lower than last year. USDA estimates South Dakota to average 25 bushels per acre, 22 below 2020. Montana is projected to average 25 bushels per acre, 13 less than last year.

U.S. spring wheat production is forecast at 345 million bushels, down 41% from 2020. The national yield is forecast at 30.7 bushels per acre, down 17.9 bushels from a year ago. If realized, this will be the lowest U.S. yield since 2002.

Of the total production, 305 million bushels are hard red spring wheat, down 42% from last year. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed is expected to total 11.2 million acres, unchanged from the acreage report released on June 30, 2021, but 7% below 2020.

Tom Doran

Field Editor