US small grains estimates virtually unchanged

AP News
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 5:36 PM

The U.S. Agriculture Department has revised its estimates for production of small grains such as wheat and barley but the changes are small.

Estimated U.S. spring wheat production is down less than 1 percent from the Sept. 30 estimate and durum wheat production is down 1 percent. Total production of all types of wheat is virtually unchanged.

U.S. production of both oats and barley also is almost unchanged from the September estimate.

The late September small grains summary usually is USDA's final word on grains production. This year, the agency re-contacted farmers in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming because wet weather during the initial survey period had significantly delayed harvest.

Darin Jantzi is director of the North Dakota field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. He says the fact that the estimates changed little after the second survey is a testament to USDA's methodology and also to farmers' knowledge about their own operations.