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NAT'L ASSN OF WHEAT GROWERS FINDS PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS REPORT ALARMING
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) reports:

Last week, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its updated Prospective Plantings report, which provides estimates about anticipated plantings for this year. The report anticipates that all wheat plantings will be at 46.1 million acres, which is down 8 percent from 2016. For winter wheat specifically, the planted area is estimated at 32.7 million acres, which is down 9 percent from last year, but it is 1 percent higher than the previous estimate.

This is still at an historically low level which we haven't seen since a time when farmers worked with a horse and plow. Spring wheat plantings are estimated to be at 11.3 million acres this year, which would be down 6 percent from 2016. And durum wheat is expected to total 2 million acres, which would be down 17 percent from last year.

In addition to the prospective plantings report, NASS also released its quarterly Grain Stocks report, estimating on-farm and off-farm stocks as of March 1. That report indicates that all wheat in storage totaled 1.66 billion bushels, which would be up 21 percent from last year.

NAWG takes these reports seriously and is working to communicate the difficult economic conditions in wheat country, which are evidenced in these reports, to Members of Congress and the Administration. Low prices and the associated low plantings will help to frame the upcoming Farm Bill discussion. Additionally, this year's low plantings make clear the need to pursue policies and educational activities that enable wheat to be more competitive with other crops.


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