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News 860 views last update:14 Jan 2016

US: Historic increase of wheat production

Although the harvested acreage of wheat in the United States has decreased in the last 100 years, the production levels have increased dramatically. However, wheat production will drop this season as a result of the drought.

This is according to data from the annual Wheat Yearbook from the ERS, the research branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The harvest area of all wheat in the season 1913/14 accounted for 52 million acres. The harvest for coming season 2013/14 is projected to be a little over 45 million acres. Looking at the production levels, great improvements can be seen. For coming season, the USDA predicts a production of 2.13 billion bushels. A hundred years ago, this was only 751 million bushels.

The increase in production levels are a result of plant breeding, technological advances in soil preparation and seed placement at planting time, use of crop rotation and fertilisers to improve plant growth, and advances in harvesting methods among others.

Although the USDA has increased its production of wheat, output for season 2013/14 is projected to be 6.17% lower than 2012/13 (2.27 billion bushels), according to the USDA. This is due to previously drought-affected winter wheat areas, which damaged a lot of plants.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations' has forecasted the world wheat production in 2013 to stand at 690 million metric tonnes, representing an increase of 4.3% from the 2012 harvest. Growth is primary seen in Europe. For North America, the FAO also predicts wheat output to decrease by about 6% to 58 million metric tonnes in 2013, below the average of the past five years.

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