Fundamentally Speaking

Lowest US Wheat Crop Since 2002

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

USDA quarterly stocks data was certainly bearish for corn and particularly for soybeans.

Not so for wheat where stocks were pegged at 1.780 billion bushels (bb) vs the average trade estimate of 1.852 bb and year ago figure of 2.158 bb.

This is the lowest total on and off farm wheat stocks as of September 1 since the 1.749 bb figure as of September 1, 2002.

A good part of the lower than expected wheat stocks figure can be attributed to a much lower 2021 all wheat crop than had been previously forecast with USDA now pegging the crop at 1.646 bb, well below their prior forecast of 1.697 bb given in the August crop report and down from the average trade estimate of 1.680 bb.

This chart shows U.S wheat production on the left-hand axis in billion bushels is the lowest total since 1.606 bb were produced in 2002.

This is linked to a lower harvested to planted ratio and yields this year coming in below trend as on the right-hand axis we report the all-wheat harvested to planted ratio and final yield expressed as a percent of the 25 year trend.

With USDA decreasing planted wheat acreage by 40,000 acres to 46.703 million but cutting harvested wheat acreage by a much greater 939,000 acres to 37.163 million acres, the 2021 harvested to planted ratio now drops to 79.6% vs. the 81.5% figure in the August 2021 crop production report and would be the lowest U.S. wheat harvested to planted ratio since 2002 when it was 76.0%.

Meanwhile the all-wheat yield was pared by 0.2 bushels per acre (bpa) to 44.3 bpa, the lowest yield since 43.6 bpa in 2015.

That is just 90.7% of the 25-year trend which we calculate this year to be 48.9 bpa, the largest negative deviation from trend since 2006 when the wheat yield was 90.2% of trend or 9.8% below the 25-year trend.

Editor's Note: For more on the current wheat market, see Allan Brugler's take on the latest USDA Grain Stocks report at…


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