Many experts voiced surprise at the latest USDA winter wheat report that showed a sizeable increase in seedings nationwide.  USDA chief economist Seth Meyer said growers put in 37 million acres of winter wheat, which 11% higher than last year, and 2% greater than many had expected.  He noted the areas of greatest growth were a bit of a surprise as well.


“Some big percent increases in places like Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan.  Folks who aren't necessarily normally planting winter wheat.”


So, why would those farmers add winter wheat acres when it’s typically not something they plant?


“Better moisture conditions, in there high wheat prices, maybe a little bit of change in what kind of crop insurance you can get for double cropping," Meyer said.  "That might have attracted some attention to plant some additional wheat in those regions.”


But Meyer noted that boost in acres didn’t just occur in fringed winter wheat areas, but in large production states like Texas, Nebraska and Kansas.


We told you last week, winter wheat acres in Oregon increased 8% year-over-year, while Idaho plantings held steady and growers in Washington planted fewer acres of winter wheat compared to 2022.


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