The National Agricultural Statistics Service will publish the first official estimate of the 2023-2024 winter wheat crop planted area on January 12.
U.S. Wheat Associates and America’s wheat-importing customers will be watching trade estimates before the report is issued. Wheat analyst Jeffry McPike says his group expects a planted area forecast of 35.7 million acres. If realized, that’s a seven percent increase over NASS’s final 2022 estimate.
The Economic Research Service has documented a general downward trend in America’s wheat plantings during the last two decades due in part to lower returns, changes in government programs, and increased competition in global wheat markets. However, at planting time in 2022, the relatively high prices for hard red winter, soft red winter, and white winter wheat all provided an incentive to plant more wheat.
Pre-report predictions range between 34-36 million acres, higher than the 2022 final NASS crop estimate of 33.27 million acres.