Ukrainian grain terminals on the Danube River have blossomed in importance during the war with Russia and now account for 65 percent of the nation's grain exports, said three agricultural economists at the farmdoc daily blog.
Growers are expected to sow the largest amount of U.S. land to winter wheat in nine years, encouraged by strong market prices, in part a result of warfare in Ukraine, and forecasts of better growing conditions in the drought-hit central and southern Plains. Winter wheat accounts for roughly seven of every 10 bushels of wheat harvested in the nation.
It’s been a record-breaking year for hot, dry, windy (HDW) events in the Midwest, with Kansas — the nation’s largest winter wheat producer — hit worse than any other state. The events, in which all three conditions occur simultaneously for a prolonged period, inevitably lead to drought and lowered grain yields. (No paywall)
With their 2022 crop fetching the highest season-average price on record, wheat farmers sowed 36.95 million acres of winter wheat for harvest this spring and summer — the largest total in seven years, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday.
Drought deepened during “quite the dry week” in the High Plains, said the Drought Monitor on Thursday. “Flash drought conditions are impacting the region, especially in the Dakotas, where warm, dry, and windy conditions have provided ideal harvest conditions but have started taking a toll.”
Winter will be drier and warmer than usual for the central to southern Plains and the Southeast, said government forecasters on Thursday, suggesting there would be little drought relief in major wheat-growing states or precipitation to restore water levels in the Mississippi River. It would be the third U.S. winter in a row under the La Niña pattern, which typically brings warmer and drier weather to the U.S. southern tier, from California to the Carolinas.
More than half of U.S. winter wheat territory is in drought but growers are sowing the grain at a faster pace than usual, said the Crop Progress report on Monday. In USDA's first look at the new crop, it said the grain was planted on 21 percent of winter wheat land in the 18 leading states, 4 points ahead of the five-year average.
Last spring, the Biden administration encouraged U.S. farmers to grow more wheat in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said it would make crop insurance more widely available for growers who wanted to team winter wheat with soybeans. Now there’s another inducement: Double-crop wheat and soybeans would be more profitable in 2023 than standalone corn or soybeans, say university economists.
American farmers say they will plant more soybeans — a record 91 million acres — and less corn and spring wheat despite tight global wheat supplies that have been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s largest wheat exporters, and Ukraine is a leading corn supplier.
The long-running drought that covers more than half of the continental United States — mostly west of the Mississippi — worsened in the central and southern Plains last week, the heart of U.S. winter wheat production, said the government's Drought Monitor on Thursday. In Kansas, the No. 1 winter wheat state, 31 percent of the crop was rated as being in poor or very poor condition.
The wheat harvest in the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest will be 40 percent smaller than last year due to severe drought, said the USDA on Monday. The declines in durum and spring wheat were so great they would reduce overall U.S. wheat production, dominated by winter wheat, by 8 percent …
Widespread rainfall in northwestern Kansas eased arid conditions in the No. 1 winter wheat state as this year’s crop nears maturity, said the weekly Drought Monitor. Still, some 69 percent of Kansas remains in drought.
Searing drought in the central and southern Plains will result in the smallest winter wheat crop since 2002 and the second smallest in 47 years, said the USDA in its first estimate of the summer harvest.
Kansas will reap its smallest winter wheat crop since 1989 and neighboring Oklahoma will harvest half of its usual total because of a months-long drought in the Plains, crop scouts said on Thursday after touring the winter wheat belt.
When the winter wheat crop breaks dormancy over the next few weeks, it will face arid conditions in the central and southern Plains due to an extraordinarily dry winter, said an agricultural meteorologist.
Snowpack in parts of the Rocky Mountains is at record lows because of warmer than usual weather, “raising concerns about water supplies and economic damage,” says Inside Climate News.
Wheat growers sowed 31.2 million acres of winter wheat for harvest this spring, the lowest figure since 1909 for the dominant type of U.S. wheat, according to a survey of farmers by Farm Futures. It would be a declne of 4.5 percent from last year and reflect poor profit potential of the wheat compared to other crops.
U.S. wheat growers already were on track for what was expected to be one of the smallest crops in years, and bitter cold this week is making the USDA projection look more likely.