Global Wheat Trends


by David A. Widmar

A few weeks ago we took a look at the trends in U.S. wheat and observed that wheat acres had been steadily declining since the 1980s. This got us (and many readers) to wondering about the trends in global production. This week’s post takes a look at global wheat trends by digging into acres harvested, production, and how the U.S. fits in. Continue reading

Tumbling U.S. Wheat Acres


by David A. Widmar

Strong wheat yields across the U.S. are proving to be burdensome on wheat markets already struggling to deal with large U.S and global inventories. In many areas producers are facing the lowest cash prices they have seen in years.  These weak prices have left wheat production in the U.S. with a bleak economic outlook.

In many areas of the Great Plains cash bids are hovering near, and have sometimes below, the $3.00 per bushel barrier. (Here are some – rather depressing – Kansas and Nebraska bids).  It has gotten so bad that in some areas of the country cash wheat prices have reached levels that trigger the ability to collect payments from the USDA’s Loan Deficiency Program (LDP) (something few people seriously contemplated when the last farm bill was written).

The situation in the wheat market is symptomatic of many of the issues facing grain producers and we believe that it likely has many broader implications for the entire grain sector.  So over the next few months we are going to feature several posts evaluating the situation in wheat production. Internally we’ve been describing it as our “wheat’s woes” analysis. This week’s posts takes a look at trends in U.S. wheat acres. Continue reading

What Might El Nino have in Store for Wheat?

Wheat Image

by David Widmar

One of the biggest stories of the summer was the strong El Nino conditions. By several measures, current conditions are among the strongest El Nino measurements in history (Secord or third highest since 1950). Recent media articles have also citied El Nino related agricultural production issues to higher dairy, sugar, palm oil, and wheat prices. It appears, however, that the most significant impact will occur this winter.

This got us wondering how current El Nino conditions might impact the winter wheat crop. Similar to our post earlier this summer, which considered corn and soybean yields, this week we take a look at historic El Nino conditions to glean potential insights for the US winter wheat crop. Continue reading