WASHINGTON, May 10, 2017 – On the heels of a late snowfall devastating much of the Kansas winter wheat crop, the Department of Agriculture is projecting a 25 percent drop in U.S. production from a year ago.

The projection comes in the Crop Production Report released Wednesday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report forecasts winter wheat production at 1.25 billion bushels, down from 1.67 billion in the previous harvest, with an average yield of 48.8 bushels per acre, compared with last year’s record yield of 55.3 bushels per acre.

Kansas, typically the biggest winter wheat producer, was hit especially hard in the report. USDA projects a drop of 177.6 million bushels from last year’s crop in the state, with 1.3 million fewer acres harvested. The projected average yield is also down by 15 bushels per acre. Oklahoma and Colorado were also hit by the same snow and freezing event. Their combined production is seen down just over 80 million bushels from a year ago, with about 1 million fewer harvested acres.

Also on Wednesday, USDA released the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, which incorporated U.S. planting projections for the first time this year.  

The report put total wheat production at 1.82 billion bushels, a drop of almost 500 million bushels from last year. Exports are projected to come in at 1 billion bushels, a 35 million bushel drop largely due to the EU recovering from last year’s small crop. Overall, U.S. ending stocks are projected to drop 245 million bushels to 914 million, the lowest figure in the last three years.  

USDA projects the corn crop at 14.1 billion bushels, a decrease from last year’s record crop due to a dip in both acreage and yield. The average cash price is unchanged from the midpoint of last year ($3.00 to $3.80) as the global outlook calls for lower production, increased use, and lower ending stocks.

The soybean crop is projected to lead to higher supplies, crush, exports, and ending stocks. USDA anticipates a 2017 crop of 4.25 billion bushels, a drop of 52 million bushels from last year, but heading to a market with an anticipated 4 percent increase in supplies to 4.7 billion bushels.

USDA also projects a drop in rice production, a 12 percent bump in cotton output over last year’s harvest, and higher 2018 red meat and poultry production than what’s anticipated for 2017.