Last year, Oklahoma wheat growers harvested a smaller than average crop of 128 million bushels. This year's crop is even smaller. According to the Oklahoma Feed and Grain Association, farmers will harvest 67 million bushels... their lowest tally since 1957. Yields in some places are predicted to fall as low as 10 bushels per acre, and as many as 900,000 planted acres may not be harvested. The Agriculture Department is predicting smaller crops throughout the wheat belt and this week, USDA released its latest estimates on how the diminished numbers would affect global supplies.
Even with some spring planting yet to go the USDA put out its estimates for the grain ending stocks of the 2006-2007 crop year.
With fewer U.S. acres in production and a projected reduction in exports, world wheat stocks are expected to be lower than last year at 128 million metric tons -- about 15 million below the previous year's number.
With a prediction of decreased feed grain supplies and the expectation of more corn going for ethanol, USDA estimates that ending stocks will hit 1.1 billion bushels. That's about half of last year.
And increased U.S. acreage and higher exports due to a smaller Brazilian crop, led USDA to peg world wide soybean ending stocks at 650 million bushels -- about 30 million bushels below the average market estimate.