USDA Report - The Small Print

In amongst the bombardment of activity following the volume of data thrust at us by the USDA yesterday, and the incredulous nature of some of it, it may take a day or two to sift through it all and put it into some sort of order.

One statistic that's sprung to my notice this morning concerns the winter wheat area.

Winter wheat accounts for around three quarters of the total US wheat area, including durum, coming in at 43.448 million acres of a total area of 59.775 million.

Typically, a fairly hefty chunk of this never actually sees a combine, and is often abandoned for grazing or ripped up and replanted with something else, depending on how the crop develops.

Last year only 86% of the planted winter wheat area actually got harvested as grain.

This year the USDA see that figure dropping to 80% after the wide scale failure of crops in states like Texas and Oklahoma.

That means that the actual production numbers may not be quite as bearish as the bare acreage figure suggests when they come out with their revised Supply & Demand estimates later this month.