By Claire Hutchins
As the 2020 wheat harvest nears its end in the Northern Hemisphere, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) surveyed industry sources to assess the global harvest situation.
United States. The 2020 U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and soft red winter (SRW) harvests are officially complete and preparations for the 2021 crop are now underway. The Pacific Northwest (PNW) soft white (SW) harvest made strong progress last week on favorable field conditions. Farmers in Washington have harvested 95% of the expected SW crop. Idaho’s SW crop is 99% harvested and Oregon’s SW harvest is now complete.
Warmer weather next week is expected to push spring wheat harvest nearly to its end across the Northern Plains.
USDA forecasts U.S. wheat production in 2020/21 will total 50.0 million metric tons (MMT), down 4 percent from last year on reduced planted area and lower average yields. Total U.S. wheat exports are expected to reach 26.5 MMT, up 1 percent from last year and 5 percent more than the 5-year average, if realized.
Click here to read more about the 2020 U.S. wheat harvest.
Canada. Canada is set to reach its second-highest level of wheat production in more than a century.
“The projected increase in wheat area is largely attributable to the durum wheat and winter wheat area remaining after winterkill, which offset the decrease in spring wheat area,” said Statistics Canada (Statscan) on Aug. 31.
USDA expects total Canadian wheat production will reach 36.0 MMT, up 11 percent from last year and 16 percent more than the 5-year average. Total wheat harvested area at 9.9 million hectares (24.5 million acres), is up 2 percent from last year and 5 percent more than the 5-year average.
In Saskatchewan, Canada’s largest wheat producing province, as of Sept. 8, official data showed 32 percent of spring wheat in the bin, the durum harvest at 62 percent complete and winter wheat at 99 percent harvested.
In Alberta, the second-largest wheat producing province in Canada, as of Sept. 8, spring wheat is 13 percent harvested, durum is 58 percent complete and winter wheat is 92 percent harvested. Recent frosts have been reported, but it is too early to determine if there was any crop damage as a result, said Alberta’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
This year, USDA forecasts total Canadian wheat exports will reach 25.0 MMT, the highest in more than 10 years.
Russia. According the Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Russian farmers have harvested 78.8 MMT of wheat as of Sept. 9, 24% more than this time last year. The average yield is up slightly this year at 48.0 bu/acre (3.23 MT/ha). Increased harvested area is expected to augment increased average yields. USDA predicts Russian wheat harvested area will jump 4 percent from last year to 28.3 million hectares (69.9 million acres), 6 percent more than the 5-year average. SovEcon, a Russian agriculture consultancy, increased the country’s wheat production forecast from 82.6 MMT last month to 83.3 MMT on Sept. 10.
USDA’s estimate for Russian wheat output differs from SovEcon’s report. USDA did not change its forecast of 78.0 MMT in 2020, unchanged from the August forecast, but 6 percent more than last year, if realized. USDA forecasts Russian wheat exports in 2020/21 will reach 37.5 MMT, up 9 percent from last year and 14 percent more than the 5-year average.
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