US Cash Wheat Price To Discourage Winter Plantings

In the US winter wheat accounts for around 70% of the entire nation's wheat crop. Planting is underway, with the USDA Monday night pegging plantings at 24% complete, compared with 25% normally.

Recent heavy rains in Texas have advanced sowings there to 32% done, and in west, in Washington the crop is 60% seeded.

But what about the top-producing HRW wheat states of Kansas and Oklahoma?

Kansas, which typically accounts for around 25% of the entire crop, is only 9% planted compared to 17% normally. In Oklahoma, which produces around 10% of the nation's winter wheat, only 17% is planted so far compared to 25% normally.

Whist planting conditions are more or less ideal, wheat prices are not.

In Kansas where HRW wheat is grown, cash prices yesterday were reportedly around $4.15/bushel, around 50 cents below the KCBT futures price.

Further east, where they grow SRW wheat, things are even worse. Cash wheat in Chicago was only fetching around $3.60/bushel yesterday, almost a dollar below the Chicago futures price and the widest spread for more than two years.

There are also other things to take into consideration.

Whilst the summer weather has generally been very favourable for those who followed up winter wheat with corn or soybeans, the slow maturity of these crops is squeezing the window of opportunity to get them harvested and get the winter wheat in.

Informa said last week that total winter wheat acreage this year will total 41.63 million acres. This would be a decrease of 1.25 million acres from last year. They see hard red winter wheat losing 900,000 acres.

The USDA report on their ideas for plantings Sept. 30th.