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Wheat Losing Ground in 2018 Projections

Wheat has been losing ground – literally – to corn and soybeans since sowing peaked at 88.25 million acres in 1981. The last time plantings topped 70 million acres was 1997 at 70.4 million. The last time they exceeded 60 million acres was 2008 at 63.6 million. At its Outlook Forum, USDA projected the smallest all-wheat acreage – 46 million – since 1919 due to low market prices and vast world stocks following four years of record crops. 

By coincidence, soybean plantings, projected for a record 88 million acres this year, would nearly match wheat’s 1981 total. 

The International Grains Council and the FAO forecast a dip in world wheat production by about 2% this year, led by the projected 20% drop in the U.S. crop.

This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, nonprofit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.


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