April 1, 2004
Total US Wheat Planted For 2004 Seen Down 4% From 2003
All wheat planted in the U.S. for the 2004 crops are forecast to total just 59.5 million acres, a 4% decline from 61.7 million acres last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday in its annual prospective plantings report.
Farmland planted with winter wheat is expected to drop 3% to 43.4 million acres in 2004, while other spring wheat planting is seen decreasing by 4% to 13.3 million acres and durum wheat plantings is forecast to decline by 5% to 2.76 million acres, according to the USDA report.
The decline in winter wheat acreage planted for the 2004 crop was blamed mostly on adverse growing conditions.
"Moisture shortages remain a concern in the Plains states, especially in Kansas and Colorado where winter wheat conditions declined during the winter," the USDA said. "Acreage declined from last year across most of the country, except in the northern Great Plains, western corn belt and parts of the Delta. The largest acreage declines were in the southern Great Plains, where dry fall conditions persisted during seeding."
The forecast drop in other spring wheat planting will be due mostly to farmers shifting to corn and soybean acreage, the USDA said. "Growers in Idaho intend to plant their lowest acreage since 1988."