WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2014 — U.S. farmers planted an estimated 41.9 million acres for this year’s winter-wheat crop, down 3 percent from the previous year, USDA said to day in a report.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) broke down expected plantings by variety: Hard Red Winter with 30.1 million acres; Soft Red Winter with 8.44 million acres; and White Winter with 3.39 million acres.

Allendale Inc., a brokerage service based in McHenry, Ill., had predicted total plantings to increase by 1.5 million acres. About 43.1 million acres were seeded with winter wheat in the previous year.

The USDA noted that seeding began in August and lagged slightly behind the previous five-year average pace by the end of September. However, by late October, seeding was ahead of the five-year average pace.

Hard Red Winter wheat growers in Colorado, Montana and North Dakota planted significantly more acres this year, USDA said, but large decreases occurred in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Total Hard Red Winter wheat plantings are 2 percent lower than last year.

Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat seeded area is down 16 percent from last year, according to the report. Acreage decreases are expected in most states that grow the variety, with significant declines in Arkansas and Mississippi.

White Winter wheat seeded area is down 3 percent. Planted acreage in the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington is lower than last year, USDA said.


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