USDA is estimating wheat acres for harvest in 2010 at 37.1 million acres, down 14 percent from 2009 and the lowest since 1913.

USDA’s Winter Wheat Seedings report blamed the falling acres on a late row crop harvest and wet weather which occurred in many states.

The winter wheat crop condition at the end of November was rated 64 percent good to excellent compared with 65 percent the previous year.

Soft red winter (SRW) wheat seeded area was estimated at about 5.92 million acres, down 29 percent from last year. Large acreage decreases from last year occurred in all SRW-growing states due to the late row crop harvest, heavy rains, and wet soil conditions.

Record low acreages are expected in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. The largest acreage decreases are in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio.

Winter wheat in Arkansas is down 230,000 acres, 53 percent below 2009. Acreage seeded in Missouri is down 360,000 acres, a 46 percent drop from 2009. Illinois is down 500,000 acres, 59 percent below last year. Ohio is down 210,000 acres, down 21 percent from 2009.

Hard red winter wheat seeded area is about 27.8 million acres, down 12 percent from 2009. Poor weather, low prices, and the late row crop harvest contributed to the decrease.

Acreage is expected to be below last year’s level in most states in the HRW-growing area, with a record low in Nebraska. The largest acreage decreases are in Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Winter wheat seeded in Kansas is down 700,000 acres, 8 percent below 2009 and the lowest planted acres since 1957. Montana is down 550,000 acres, 22 percent below 2009 and the third largest decrease on record. Winter wheat in Oklahoma is expected to be down 500,000 acres, the lowest acreage since 1971. Acreage in Texas is down 1 million acres, the fourth largest decrease on record and lowest planted area since 1973.

White winter wheat seeded area is estimated at nearly 3.33 million acres, down 1 percent from 2009. Planted acreage in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) is up from last year. Winter wheat planted area is up 40,000 acres from 2009 in Idaho, up 50,000 in Oregon, and unchanged in Washington. Seeding began ahead of normal in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

By Nov. 8, virtually all fields had been seeded in the region with 90 percent of the acreage emerged in Washington, 81 percent in Idaho, and 67 percent in Oregon.

Durum wheat seedings in Arizona and California for 2010 harvest are estimated at 205,000 acres, down 33 percent from the 2009 level. Planted acreage is down 35,000 in Arizona and down 65,000 in California. Planting is ongoing in California’s San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys. No major problems with the crop have been reported.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com