Winter wheat seedings are up slightly in the Northwest, but down slightly across the country, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Northwest wheat farmers seeded 3.14 million acres of winter wheat for the 2018 crop, up 0.64 percent from 3.12 million acres in 2017, and down 1.6 percent from 3.19 million acres in 2016.
Idaho wheat farmers seeded 730,000 acres of winter wheat for the 2018 crop, up 1 percent from 720,000 acres in 2017, but down 5 percent from 770,000 acres in 2016.
Oregon farmers planted 710,000 acres, up 1 percent from 700,000 acres for the 2017 crop and down 1 percent from 720,000 acres 2016.
Washington farmers seeded an estimated 1.7 million acres of winter wheat, unchanged from the area seeded in 2017 and 2016, according to the report.
Farmers are keeping wheat in their rotations despite low prices, said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission.
“Prices certainly need to strengthen,” he said.
Nationally, the planted winter wheat acreage for 2018 is 32.6 million acres, down 0.27 percent from 32.7 million in 2017 and down 9.8 percent from 36.2 million acres in 2016.
According to NASS, this is the second-lowest U.S. acreage on record.
According to NASS’ annual crop summary:
• All wheat planted in Idaho in 2017 totaled 1.17 million acres, down 2 percent from 2016. Wheat production totaled 90.7 million bushels, down 12 percent from 102. 8 million bushels the previous year. Yield was estimated at 82.2 bushels per acre, down 10.1 percent from 91.4 bushels per acre in 2016.
• All wheat planted in Oregon in 2017 totaled 775,000 acres, down 4 percent from the previous year. Wheat production totaled 48.1 million bushels, up 20 percent from the previous year. Yield is estimated at 63 bushels per acre, up 25.7 percent from 50.1 bushels per acre in 2016.
• All wheat planted in Washington in 2017 totaled 2.2 million acres, down 2 percent from 2016. Production totaled 143 million bushels, down 9 percent from 2016. Yield is estimated at 66.6 bushels per acre, down 6.9 percent from 71.5 bushels per acre in 2016.
• All wheat planted in the U.S. totaled 46 million acres, down 8.19 percent from 50.1 million acres in 2016. Production totaled 1.74 billion bushels, down from 2.31 billion bushels. Yield is estimated at 46.3 bushels per acre, down 12.1 percent from 52.7 bushels per acre.
• White winter wheat seeding in 2018 totals 3.56 million acres, up 1 percent from 2017. Planting in the Pacific Northwest got off to a normal start, but progress was behind the five-year average pace throughout the planting season. Seeding was virtually complete by Nov. 5.
• Hard red winter wheat seeding is expected to total 23.1 million acres, down 2 percent from 2017. The largest declines are estimated in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Record low acreage was seeded in Nebraska and Utah.
• Soft red winter wheat is expected to total 5.98 million acres, up 4 percent from 2017. Acreage increases are expected from last year in most states that grow the class, but decreases are expected in the Delta region, most northeastern states, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Record low acreage was seeded in Louisiana, New Jersey and West Virginia.