Winter wheat yield outlook increases

Ray Mueller

MADISON – The winter wheat update report based on crop conditions as of June 1 in Wisconsin indicates a slight increase in projected per acre average yield compared to the May 1 forecast while making no change in the total of harvested acres.

This year's crop of winter wheat is projected to be 25 percent less than in 2016.

A report issued on June 9 by the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service predicted a winter wheat crop of 14.63 million bushels this summer – up by 570,000 bushels from the May 1 forecast. That's due to a predicted average yield of 77 bushels compared to 74 bushels in the May forecast while keeping the number of harvested acres in the state at 190,000.

Compared to 2016, the state's winter wheat production this year is expected to be down by 26 percent. In 2016, there were 250,000 harvested acres with an average yield of 79 bushels per acre for a production of 19.75 million bushels.

National Statistics

The national statistics for the 2017 winter wheat crop parallel those forecast for Wisconsin. Although the June crop condition survey indicated a slight increase in yield compared to the data for May 1, this year's crop is projected to be 25 percent less than in 2016.

A predicted average yield of 48.9 bushels per acre would be 6.4 bushels less than the 2016 average. The prediction of 25.564 million harvested acres would be a reduction of 5.658 million acres from a year ago.

Harvested acres and per acre yields are forecast to be lower in all of the major winter wheat production states. Kansas is down by 1.3 million acres to 6.9 million with a 13 bushel cut in yield to an average of 44 bushels per acre.

Oklahoma is down by 800,000 acres and 6 bushels for a 2017 harvest of 2.7 million acres at an average of 33 bushels per acre. Texas is down by 500,000 acres to 2.3 million and by 2 bushels to an average of 30 per acre for this year.

Montana's cutback is 450,000 acres to a 2017 total of 1.7 million with a 3 bushel yield drop to an average of 46 bushels. Washington is down only slightly to 1.66 million acres but by 13 bushels on yield for an average of 65 bushels per year, which would nonetheless give the state the nation's second highest crop of 107.9 million bushels, trailing only the Kansas projected total of 303.6 million bushels compared to 467.4 million bushels in 2016.