Virginia's winter wheat growers will produce a bigger crop than was forecast in May, according to the latest statistics from the Virginia Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. According to the report, released June 12 and based on conditions as of June 1, the Commonwealth's winter wheat crop for 2012 is expected to total 18,850,000 bushels, up 290,000 bushels from the May 1 forecast.
Virginia growers are expected to harvest 290,000 acres of wheat in 2012, with a forecast average of 65 bu. per acre. On June 10 the majority of the wheat in the state was reported to be in good condition.
While Virginia's winter wheat forecast is gaining ground the U.S. winter wheat production is down by 1% in the latest report, compared to the May 1 forecast. U.S. wheat farmers will produce 1.68 billion bushels of winter wheat, according to the latest estimates. NASS forecasts growers will produce 47.3 bu. per acre, down 0.3 bu. in June, or 1%, when compared to May 1 forecasts. However, the June forecast is 13% above the forecast for the same period in 2011. Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 35.6 million acres, unchanged from May 1.
If it comes to fruition, the forecast for planted and harvested acres in Virginia for 2012 will be a high when compared to the previous five years of winter wheat production. Growers planted 320,000 acres of winter wheat in 2012 and, as mentioned above, are expected to harvest 290,000 acres. In 2007 they planted 230,000 acres and harvested 205,000 acres of winter wheat; in 2008 they planted 310,000 acres and harvested 280,000 acres; in 2009 growers planted 250,000 acres and harvested acres were 210,000; in 2010 Virginia growers planted 180,000 acres and harvested 155,000 acres; and in 2011 growers planted 270,000 acres and harvested 250,000 acres.
The record high production for winter wheat in the state occurred in 1937 when growers planted a whopping 668,000 acres and went on to harvest 648,000 acres. The lowest historical production for winter wheat occurred in 1966 when Virginia growers planted 163,000 acres and harvested just 133,000 acres.
To learn more about Virginia crop production visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Virginia/Publications/Current_News_Release/index.asp