North Dakota Wheat Production May Fall 25 Pct

North Dakota wheat production may be reduced 25% due to serious planting delays that will shrink the wheat acreage sown, while also reducing the crop yield, say StormX. The current season is panning out very similar to excessively wet conditions that slashed wheat production in the state in 1999 and 1995.

North Dakota is the second largest wheat producing state in the US, and the largest spring wheat state accounting for 50% of production. A sharp cut in the 2009 wheat harvest would clearly be very detrimental for United States bread wheat supplies, particularly when Texas drought and Oklahoma freeze damage are added into the equation, say StormX.

Fields are saturated because of excessively heavy rain last fall and a thick snowpack that created flooding. Field conditions are similar to 1999, 1995, 1983 and 1972. In all four cases, production was sharply reduced compared with normal output, they add.

Wheat planting was delayed by 2-3 weeks in 1999 and 1995 because of flooding. Drying occurred very slowly, stretching out the planting campaign into late May. In fact, not all wheat was sown by June 10th. Farmers eventually ran out of time to plant, which led to a 8-10% cut in the area sown.

In summary, the cards are stacked against a favorable North Dakota wheat harvest in 2009, due to pre-existing wetness that inevitably will hinder planting and reduce the crop yield. A 25% cut in production is typical, when spring flooding is severe and similar to the present conditions, they conclude.