Thursday, November 30, 2023

USDA Projects Lower Winter Wheat and Higher Spring Wheat in First Crop Production Report

by Colter Brown

In USDA’s first detailed forecast of the 2022-23 crops, the outlook for wheat production was pegged at 1.729 bb, up 83 million bushels (mb) from last year, with higher projected yields offsetting a slight decrease in harvested area. Globally, production is forecast at 774.8 million metric tons (mmt), 4.5 mmt lower than last year, based on reduced production in Ukraine, Australia and Morocco.

Taking a look at Ukraine estimates for 2022-23, USDA pegs corn production at 19.5 mmt, less than half of Ukraine’s corn production from 2021-22 crop. Corn exports are projected at 9 mmt for 2022-23 in Ukraine, down from 23 mmt for the old crop. For wheat, Ukraine’s production was projected at 21.5 mmt for 2022-23, down from 53.51 mmt for the old wheat crop. Ukraine’s wheat exports for the new crop are pegged at 10 mmt, nearly one-third of the 29.11 mmt projected for the 2021-22 crop.

U.S. Wheat Production

USDA’s domestic for new crop wheat crop came in near pre-report analyst estimates, with average yield set at 46.6 bushels per acre. New-crop ending stocks are expected to land at 619 mb, on the lower end of expectations. That’s based on a lowered beginning stocks of 655 mb (left from old-crop ending stocks), bringing total supply to 2.504 bb. Food, seed and residual use for new crop are pegged at 1.110 bb, with exports at 775 mb.

U.S. farm gate prices were pegged at $10.75, well above last year’s average of $7.70.

U.S. winter wheat production in the new-crop year is projected to reach 1.17 bb, on the low end of pre-report analyst expectations, and down 8% from last year, driven by drought conditions in many winter wheat growing regions. Overall yield was pegged at 47.9 bushels per acre, down 2.3 bushels from last year, with 24.5 million acres expected to be harvested for grain, down 4% from last year. Abandoned winter wheat acres were projected at their highest since 2002, with the most acres lost in Texas and Oklahoma.

Of those acres, hard red winter is pegged at 590 mb, down 21% from a year ago, and below analyst’s pre-report estimates. Soft red winter wheat was pegged at 354 mb, down 2%. In contrast, white winter wheat production, set at 230 mb, is up 38% from last year, above pre-report expectations

Globally, USDA pegged new-crop wheat production at 774.83 mmt, with ending stocks at 267.02 mmt, a tight situation based on reduced production in Ukraine (down to 21.5 mmt), India (down to 108.5 mmt) and Australia (down to 30 mmt). Old crop ending stocks were set at 279.72 mmt, up slightly from last month.


The 2022-23 new-crop corn has farmers projected to plant 89.5 million acres with a 177 bushel-per-acre average. Production is pegged at 14.46 bb.

For usage, Feed and Residual use for the new crop is projected at 5.35 bb, lower than the old-crop usage. Ethanol used for the 2022-23 crop is forecast at 5.375 bb, the same as old-crop usage. Exports are pegged at 2.4 bb, down 100 mb from the old crop.

Total usage for the 2022-23 crop is projected at 14.565 bb, down 370 mb from 2021-22 crop.

Total supply for the 2021-22 corn crop remained pegged at 16.375 bb. Feed and Residual use was projected at 5.625 bb. Ethanol use was forecast at 5.375 bb. Exports held pat at 2.5 bb as well. That put the 2021-22 ending stocks as the same as April at 1.44 bb.

Globally, starting with the new crop, USDA’s beginning stocks were 309.39 million metric tons. Production is pegged at 1,180.72 mmt. Exports are projected at 182.7 mmt. Ending stocks are projected at 305.13 mmt.


Winter wheat production in Montana is forecast at 74.10 million bushels. This forecast is 38 percent above last year’s production of 53.63 million bushels but 2 percent below the 75.99 million bushel crop produced two years ago.

Acreage for harvest, forecast at 1.90 million acres, is 170,000 acres more than a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 39.0 bushels per acre, up 8.0 bushels per acre from last year’s yield.

As of May 8, Montana’s winter wheat crop condition was rated 21 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 48 percent fair, 12 percent good, and 1 percent excellent, compared with 2 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 40 percent good, and 6 percent excellent last year.

North Dakota

North Dakota’s 2022 winter wheat crop is forecast at 4.23 million bushels, up 114% from last year’s crop. Average yield is forecast at 47 bushels per acre, up 14 bushels from last year. Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 90,000 acres, up 30,000 acres from last year. This would be 90% of the planted acres, above last year’s 67% harvested.

South Dakota

South Dakota’s 2022 winter wheat crop is forecast at 32.4 million bushels, up 18% from last year’s crop. Average yield is forecast at 45 bushels per acre, up 7 bushels from last year. Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 720,000 acres, unchanged from last year. This would be 87% of the planted acres, below last year’s 90% harvested.



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