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Slow harvest may lead to lower winter wheat acreage

USDA forecast of an average seasonal price near $4.70/bu. for 2019-20 marketing year may not provide enough incentive.

Early surveys indicate winter wheat acreage is set to fall again this year, according to University of Illinois economist Todd Hubbs.

“After planting 31.16 million acres for the 2019-20 crop year, expectations place this year’s winter wheat acreage near 31.12 million acres,” Hubbs said, adding that delayed harvesting of spring crops and relatively low cash prices may mean it actually comes to pass. 

Hubbs relayed that wheat prices picked up recently and a continuation of stronger prices may incentivize wheat planting in the spring. However, he said the USDA forecast of an average seasonal price near $4.70/bu. for the 2019-20 marketing year, which Hubbs said may not provide enough incentive to see total wheat acres above last year’s 45.2 million acres if it comes to fruition. 


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