Meyer: Drought Has Impacted U.S. Spring Wheat Numbers

What impact has the drought had on wheat really varies variety to variey, but in general, the impact is best observed in spring wheat production and yield numbers. Chief economist, Seth Meyer, compared the most recent USDA report to the numbers released last August.

“What you’re seeing in almost all of them is the widening of the abandoned acres. So as a share of the total abandoned acres widening. And you have a funny offset which actually tends to support yields  a little bit when you do that because the worst of it is the stuff that doesn’t get harvested.”

Meyer noted that planted acres were slightly down between monthly estimates and harvested acres down over 9% month-over-month. While spring wheat yields were up two bushels per acre from the previous forecast. However, year-over-year spring wheat yield and production, and the significant drops in total on both, reflects drought in large growing regions like the northern plains, and right here in the Pacific Northwest.

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