The USDA's latest Wheat Outlook report showed that Winter wheat plantings for 2012 are estimated at 41.7 million acres, 3 percent above last year, down 1 percent from the previous estimate in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) January 12 Winter Wheat Seedings report. Of the 2012 total winter-wheat acreage, 29.9 million acres are hard red winter (HRW), 1.4 million acres above last year. More acres of HRW were seeded this year due to higher prices and an acreage rebound in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas where dry conditions limited 2011 planted area.
Soft red winter (SRW) wheat seeded area is 8.4 million acres, down 0.2 million acres from last year. There are large acreage increases from last year in the Southeast and large acreage decreases in most States in the Corn Belt and Northeast. These decreases are primarily due to a late row-crop harvest that prevented fall seedings.
Soft white winter wheat planted area is 3.117 million acres for 2012, down from 3.282 million acres in 2011. Hard white winter wheat planted area is 0.338 million acres for 2012, up slightly from 0.323 million acres in 2011.
Spring wheat plantings for 2012, including durum, are estimated at 14.2 million acres, 0.4 million acres above last year. Other spring wheat growers intend to plant 12.3 million acres this year, down 0.4 million acres from 2011 seedings. Of this other spring total, 11.3 million acres are hard red spring (HRS) wheat. This HRS planted acreage is down from 11.6 million acres in 2011, an already low planted area due to extensive flooding that resulted in widespread prevent planting in North Dakota. Planted acreage for 2012 is expected to be down in all producing States except Montana. A very low acreage is expected to be planted in South Dakota.
Area seeded to durum wheat for 2012 is expected to total 2.223 million acres, up from 1.369 million acres in 2011. The largest increases are expected in North Dakota and Montana, where seedings were limited last year due to excessively wet conditions during the spring planting season. California and Arizona are reported to have seeded 240 thousand acres this year, 40 thousand more than for 2011.
Soft white spring wheat planted area is expected to be 0.561 million acres for 2012, down from 0.657 million acres in 2011. Hard white spring wheat planted area is expected to be 0.123 million acres for 2012, down from 0.148 million acres in 2011.