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USDA to release much-awaited wheat, durum report

As the spring wheat and durum harvest gets underway belatedly, farmers and the markets finally will find out how much of the crops didn't get planted during this difficult seeding season.

Wheat

As the spring wheat and durum harvest gets underway belatedly, farmers and the markets finally will find out how much of the crops didn't get planted during this difficult seeding season.

Early this morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service will release its monthly crop acreage and yield report, giving the first good look at what soybean and corn yields likely will be across the nation.

But of most interest in this region will be the results of a re-survey of spring wheat and durum planted acres in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.

Because the flooding and heavy rains this spring, the early June survey of wheat and durum plantings widely is considered to have missed the real mark, because many farmers still hadn't actually got into the field to do what they said they intended to do.

U.S. spring wheat acreage -- almost all of it grown in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota -- was estimated at 13.2 million, down from 13.3 million a year ago.

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North Dakota's planted spring wheat acres were pegged in the July report at 6.15 million, down from more than 7 million that farmers said early this spring they intended to plant, as well as down from 6.3 million planted a year ago.

Many in the business think the actual spring wheat acres for harvest, once prevented planting and drowned out acres are counted, will be well below 6 million acres.

Durum wheat, used to make pasta, will be at its lowest acreage in North Dakota -- where most of it is grown -- USDA said in early July, projecting it to be, at harvest, 970,000 acres, down 46 percent, with yields way down, too. The northwest part of the state, the heart of the durum-growing region, also was the place worst hit by flooding and heavy rains.

Patrick Boyle, deputy director of the NASS field office in Fargo, said Wednesday there is an unusual amount of interest in Thursday's revision of spring wheat and durum production and acreage reports.

By now, in a typical year, much if not most of the spring wheat, barley and durum would be harvested, but only a few fields have combines running yet in the Red River Valley as the crops remain behind schedule due to the late planting season.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURECROPS
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