USDA sees mixed crop forecasts in 2018

26.02.2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture at its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum Feb. 22-23 projected higher U.S. wheat production in 2018 but lower corn and soybean outturn compared with 2017, which saw the smallest wheat crop since 2006, the second largest corn crop and a record-large soybean crop.

Production of all wheat in 2018 was forecast at 1.839 billion bushels, up 6% from 1.741 billion bushels in 2017 but still about 11% below the prior five-year average outturn. Area planted to wheat for harvest in 2018 was forecast at 46.5 million acres, up 500,000 acres from 2017, harvested area at 38.8 million acres, up 1.2 million acres, and average yield at 47.4 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from 2017 but down 5.3 bushels from a record yield of 52.7 bushels in 2016.

Expected increased area planted to spring wheat is expected to offset a slight decline in winter wheat seeded area, the USDA said.

“At 32.6 million acres, 2018 winter wheat seedings are projected to be the lowest in 109 years and incorporate expectations of a 2% year-to-year decline in hard red winter wheat plantings,” the USDA said in comments released with its projections at the Outlook Forum.

“The all-wheat harvested-to-planted ratio is forecast at 83.4%,” the USDA said. “While up from the 2017-18 ratio, the 2018-19 ratio is slightly below the long-term average and reflective of the potential for increased abandonment in the drought-affected winter wheat belt in the Southern Plains.”

Wheat carryover on June 1, 2019, was forecast at 931 million bushels, down 8% from 1.009 billion bushels forecast as the 2018 carryover and down 21% from 2017. The average price of wheat paid to farmers in 2018-19 was forecast at $4.70 a bushel, up 10¢ from 2017-18 and up 81¢ from 2016-17.

The USDA projected 2018 corn production at 14.390 billion bushels, down 1.5% from 2017, down 5% from a record 15.148 billion bushels in 2016 but still the third highest on record if realized. Planted area was forecast at 90 million acres, down 200,000 acres from 2017, harvested area at 82.7 million acres, unchanged, and average yield at 174 bushels per acre, down 2.6 bushels from a record 176.6 bushels in 2017.

Corn used for ethanol in 2018-19 was forecast at a record 5.650 billion bushels, up 2.3% from 2017-18 and equal to 39% of the 2018 crop. Corn carryover on Sept. 1, 2019, was projected at 2.272 billion bushels, down 3.4% from 2018. The average price of corn paid to farmers in 2018-19 was forecast at $3.40 a bushel, up 10¢ from the current year.

The USDA projected 2018 soybean production at 4.320 billion bushels, down 1.6% from record outturn of 4.392 billion bushels in 2017. Planted area was forecast at 90 million acres in 2018, down 100,000 acres from 2017, harvested area at 89.1 million acres, down 400,000 acres, and average yield at 48.5 bushels per acre, down 0.6 bushel from 2017 and down 3.5 bushels from a record 52 bushels in 2016.

Total soybean supply in 2018-19 was forecast at a record 4.875 billion bushels due to large carry-in stocks. Soybean carryover on Sept. 1, 2019, was forecast at 460 million bushels, down 13% from 2018. The average price of soybeans paid to farmers in 2018-19 was forecast at $9.25 a bushel, down 5¢ from the prior year forecast.


world-grain

Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult