Washington farmers plant fewer acres of spring wheat in 2022
Winter wheat test plots at the Washington State University Dryland Research Station in Lind. Farmers in the Columbia Basin have planted less acreage of spring wheat this year than last.
| August 6, 2022 1:00 AM
OLYMPIA — Despite a cooler and wetter spring and early summer, farmers across Eastern Washington have planted fewer acres of spring wheat in 2022 when compared with 2021, according to a report issued at the end of June by the Northwest Regional Field of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
According to a survey, farmers across Washington planted 470,000 acres of spring wheat in 2022, down 110,000 from the acres planted in 2021. By comparison, wheat farmers in Idaho planted 510,000 acres of spring wheat in 2022, up from 470,000 acres in 2021.
Spring wheat production is estimated at 22.3 million bushels in Washington, a 38% increase over 2021, with an expected yield of 48 bushels per acre, up 18 bushels from last year, according to a separate NASS report released on July 12.
About 1.85 million acres of winter wheat were planted in Washington in the fall of 2021, according to the report, up 100,000 acres from the previous year’s planting season. NASS forecasters expect farmers will harvest 1.79 million acres of winter wheat this summer, a 6% increase from the winter wheat acres harvested in 2021, the report said.
Washington’s 2022 winter wheat production is forecast at 131 million bushels, an 84% increase from winter wheat output in 2021, with an anticipated yield of 73 bushels per acre compared with 42 bushels per acre in 2021.
Nationally, farmers across the U.S. planted a reported 34 million acres of winter wheat last fall, up 1% from the previous year, while they are expected to harvest 25 million acres, a decline of 2% from harvested area in 2021.
NASS also reported that 90,000 acres of barley have been planted in Washington in 2022, up from 83,000 in 2021, with farmers expected to harvest around 75,000 acres of that this summer compared with harvested acreage of 70,000 in 2021. The barely harvest for 2022 is estimated at 5.85 million bushels, more than double the 2021 harvest, with an anticipated yield of 48 bushels per acre, 18 bushels per acre more than 2021.
Nationally, U.S. farmers planted an estimated 3 million acres of barley for 2022, compared with 2.7 million acres for 2021, and are expected to harvest 2.4 million of those acres this summer, compared with harvested acreage of 1.9 million in 2021.
Washington farmers planted 165,000 acres of potatoes in 2022, up 3% from 2021, and are expected to harvest 164,500 of the acres in the fall, also a 3% rise from 2021, the NASS report said. U.S. farmers planted an estimated 910,000 acres of potatoes, down 3% from 2021, and are expected to harvest 902,000 acres, down 4% from the previous year.
Acres sown with hay in Washington rose 4% in 2022 to 740,000, while nationally acres devoted to hay rose 2% to 51.5 million, the report said.
In a separate report on grain stocks, NASS reported both on-farm and off-farm stocks of wheat and barley in Washington remained significantly lower following the 2021 drought and heat wave in late June and early July which led to much lower harvests. Wheat stocks in Washington hit 32 million bushels in June 2022, down from 45.6 million the previous year. Off-farm stocks fell 25% year-over-year while on-farm stocks fell 86%, the report said.
Nationally, U.S. wheat stocks totaled 660 million bushels in June 2022, down from 845 million the previous year, with off-farm stocks falling 19% while on-farm stocks fell 34%.
Barley stocks in Washington in June 2022 reached 1.25 million bushels, less than half the 3.46 million bushels in storage at the same time in 2021. Off-farm stock in Washington fell 70% in 2022 while the on-farm stock rose 11% compared with 2021.
U.S. barley stocks totaled 42.2 million bushels in June 2022, down from 71.4 million bushels in 2021. Off-farm stocks nationwide fell 35% with on-farm stocks falling 54% in the year-over-year period.