US winter wheat yield and production forecast 2017


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I’ve been playing around for a while with USDA NASS crop statistics, and have built a simple yet powerful Bayesian hierarchical network for predicting crop yields early in the season. Since the first USDA winter wheat yield forecast is due in less than a week (the next crop production report is programmed on May 10th), I thought it might be fun to present my own forecast. It is based on the data available on May 7, 2017.

The above map depicts the expected yields at the state level, in bushels per acre. By placing the pointer over a given state it is possible to get the numeric values of the expected yield with its prediction interval, and the anomaly in percentage over the last 5-years average. It is possible to switch the representation between yield and anomaly. This is the complete dataset shown on the map:

Winter wheat yield forecast (June 4, 2017)
yield PI (2.5%) PI (97.5%) 5-y average 5-y anomaly
Alabama 70 60 79
Arkansas 59 51 68 58 +2.2%
California 80 71 89 79 +2.1%
Colorado 38 29 46 36 +5.5%
Delaware 73 64 83
Georgia 45 36 55
Idaho 89 80 97 84 +5.3%
Illinois 66 57 75 67 -1.9%
Indiana 73 65 82 73 +0.0%
Kansas 43 34 51 40 +5.8%
Kentucky 73 60 84
Louisiana 35 25 45
Maryland 70 60 81
Michigan 82 73 91 79 +3.8%
Mississippi 59 49 69
Missouri 57 48 66 59 -3.8%
Montana 43 35 53 43 +2.0%
Nebraska 47 39 56 43 +8.9%
New Jersey 67 59 76
New Mexico 26 17 35
New York 77 68 86
North Carolina 56 47 64 53 +4.3%
North Dakota 46 37 55
Ohio 76 68 85 72 +5.5%
Oklahoma 33 24 41 30 +9.5%
Oregon 64 55 73 56 +14.2%
Pennsylvania 69 60 78
South Carolina 45 36 54
South Dakota 47 38 56 49 -4.5%
Tennessee 71 61 81
Texas 32 24 41 31 +5.2%
Utah 58 49 67
Virginia 64 55 73
Washington 69 61 78 65 +6.3%
West Virginia 63 54 73
Wisconsin 81 71 90
Wyoming 33 24 42

The expected yield informs about the development of the crop, especially if it is compared with the average of the previous years, but the yield alone does not inform about the expected winter wheat production. The final production is the result of the yield and the acreage (the area planted), which varies from year to year. By combining the expected yield with the estimated crop acreage, it is possible to estimate the production. A production map can be found below:


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The total US winter wheat production is estimated at 1,558,021 (x 1,000) bushels, or 33,921 (x 1,000) metric tons. This is a variation of -0.52% with respect to last week’s estimate. As a reference, the total US winter wheat production in the period 2014-2016 was: 1,377,216, 1,374,690, 1,671,532 (x 1,000) bushels, or 29,985, 29,930, 36,393 (x 1,000) metric tons, respectively.

Production forecasts by state can be found below:

Winter wheat yield forecast (June 4, 2017)
production PI (2.5%) PI (97.5%) 5-y average 5-y anomaly
Alabama 11,816 10,169 13,444
Arkansas 11,563 9,897 13,269 21,366 -45.9%
California 28,895 25,725 32,012 18,777 +53.9%
Colorado 86,853 66,745 106,677 76,880 +13.0%
Delaware 4,732 4,151 5,363
Georgia 9,063 7,187 10,913
Idaho 64,865 58,456 70,997 61,240 +5.9%
Illinois 33,059 28,729 37,513 42,142 -21.6%
Indiana 21,179 18,719 23,802 23,334 -9.2%
Kansas 320,577 255,096 386,091 347,800 -7.8%
Kentucky 39,917 33,129 46,444
Louisiana 881 622 1,130
Maryland 28,127 24,053 32,291
Michigan 38,526 34,385 42,734 41,779 -7.8%
Mississippi 3,539 2,941 4,113
Missouri 38,721 32,980 44,575 42,147 -8.1%
Montana 82,563 66,297 100,288 90,908 -9.2%
Nebraska 52,460 42,855 61,933 56,194 -6.6%
New Jersey 1,542 1,346 1,746
New Mexico 8,003 5,257 10,749
New York 10,047 8,902 11,172
North Carolina 25,536 21,611 29,640 36,866 -30.7%
North Dakota 3,016 2,430 3,563
Ohio 37,122 33,106 41,459 38,538 -3.7%
Oklahoma 146,874 106,563 186,047 108,620 +35.2%
Oregon 45,401 39,125 51,607 42,183 +7.6%
Pennsylvania 13,858 12,018 15,679
South Carolina 4,092 3,273 4,893
South Dakota 42,305 34,462 50,137 50,502 -16.2%
Tennessee 27,722 23,657 31,624
Texas 155,467 112,919 196,696 85,490 +81.9%
Utah 7,551 6,379 8,760
Virginia 12,188 10,493 13,920
Washington 117,463 103,011 132,687 107,342 +9.4%
West Virginia 506 432 580
Wisconsin 17,733 15,611 19,697
Wyoming 4,261 3,078 5,458

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