USA – Following the conclusion of the North American Millers’ Association 2024 spring conference, a panel comprising soft wheat millers and merchandisers has delivered a sobering forecast for US soft red winter wheat production in 2024. 

The projected figure stands at 375,143,000 bushels, representing a notable decline of 16.5% from the 2023 production level of 449,017,000 bushels.

Despite this decrease, if the forecast is realized, 2024 would mark the second-largest soft red winter wheat production since 2014 when 451,531,000 bushels were harvested. The record high for production in recent history was achieved in 2008, with a staggering 618,067,000 bushels. 

The all-time record-high production of soft red winter wheat dates back to 1981, reaching 678,017,000 bushels.

The projected decline in production for 2024 is attributed to decreases in several key regions, including the Central States, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic States, and the Southeast. 

These declines outweigh production gains forecasted for minor soft red winter wheat production states such as Oklahoma and Texas.

In the Central states (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin), the projected production of 100,832,000 bushels represents a significant 24% decrease from the 2023 figure of 132,482,000 bushels.

Similarly, the Midwest states (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee) are anticipated to witness a decline in production, with a forecasted output of 154,132,000 bushels, marking an 11% decrease from the 2023 production of 181,540,000 bushels.

The Southeast region, comprising Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, is projected to experience an 18% reduction in production, with an estimated output of 52,950,000 bushels compared to 64,530,000 bushels in 2023.

The Mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) are also expected to decline, with forecasted production of 42,800,000 bushels, down 18% from 52,067,000 bushels last year.

However, there is a glimmer of optimism in the South/Delta/Southwest region, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, where production is projected to increase by 28% to 24,429,000 bushels, up from 19,146,000 bushels in 2023.

In addition to the soft red winter wheat forecast, the panel also issued projections for soft white winter wheat production in 2024, estimated at 190,136,000 bushels. This forecast represents a 9% decrease from the 2023 production level of 210,051,000 bushels. 

Factors contributing to this decline include anticipated decreases in production in Washington and a sharp 82% decline in soft white wheat production in Michigan, offsetting increases forecasted for Wisconsin, New York, Idaho, and Oregon.

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