USDA says several factors helped boost winter wheat acres

The chief economist for the USDA says winter wheat acres are up significantly in parts of the US.

Seth Meyer told attendees of the Ag Outlook Forum that farmers responded to market signals. “We’ve seen some big percentage increases year-over-year in soft red winter areas in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio,” he says. “You’re talking 20 to 50% year-over-year increases in wheat area, that’s because those folks have moisture.”

In 2022 the Biden administration took steps to expand double-crop insurance opportunities in more than 1,500 counties.  Meyer says that crop insurance coverage expansion has likely helped.  “That says folks are willing to take that risk on a crop that they haven’t produced before,” he says. “We will see whether or not those folks will take that additional coverage or not but they have planted soft red winter wheat and perhaps they will plant beans following it.”

The USDA had wheat plantings forecasted at 49.5 million acres, a seven-year high, up from 45.7 million in 2022. Spring wheat acres will come out in the Prospective Plantings report on March 31, 2023.

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