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WMR-U.S. Wheat Production Shifts in 2023

By: Jim Peterson
Posted: Sep 13 2023

The most recent USDA production estimate for total U.S. wheat production is 1.73 billion bushels, on roughly 38 million harvested acres and a yield of 45.8 bushels/acre.  Production is up 5% from the 2022 crop of 1.65 billion bushels, which had 35.5 million harvested acres and a yield of 46.5 bushels/acre.  There were 4.1 million additional planted acres of wheat in 2023, but only 2.5 million additional harvested due to the severe drought conditions in HRW regions.

North Dakota remains the largest wheat producing state at 282 million bushels, although down from 300 million a year ago.  Kansas, which bore the brunt of the drought in the hard red winter region is estimated at 208 million bushels, down from 244 million a year ago.  The other top five states in 2023 are Montana at 169 million bushels, Washington at 116 million bushels, and Idaho at 87 million.  Montana is the only top five state to see higher production than a year ago, at least based on current estimates.  

By class, soft red winter wheat, which is primarily grown from Missouri through the eastern corn belt enjoyed the best growing conditions this year, with statewide average yields of 90 bushel per acre achieved in Ohio and Indiana.  The early drought in that part of the corn belt helped limit disease pressures on wheat.  SRW production is up 31% on the year to 440 million bushels, overtaking HRS as the second largest class of wheat.  

Hard red winter is estimated up 10% to 585 million bushels, in spite of the severe drought conditions.  Gains in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, offset lower production in Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.  HRS production is currently estimated at 413 million bushels, down 7% from a year ago, with soft white wheat at 239 million bushels, down 10%.  Both classes were impacted by dry conditions mid growing season, with the PNW also experience very hot temperatures.  With harvest still ongoing in the HRS region, and many harvest reports pointing to a better crop than expected, it is likely HRS production will be raised in future USDA reports. 

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