The Agriculture Department is forecasting a far smaller U.S. winter wheat crop than a year ago.
Its National Agricultural Statistics Service on Wednesday predicted the 2017 crop would be down 25 percent to 1.25 billion bushels. Its forecast average wheat yield of 48.8 bushels per acre is down 6.5 bushels from last year’s record yield.
The outlook is down even more for the nation’s hard red winter wheat. The agency forecast hard red wheat production would be down 32 percent from a year ago to 737 million bushels. Hard red is the type of wheat most commonly grown in Kansas.
Kansas farmers are expected to harvest 289.8 million bushels this year with average yields of 42 bushels per acre. That compares to the 467.4 million bushels cut last year.]