| ||Corn | Soybeans | Hard red winter wheat | Hard red spring wheat | Soft red winter wheat | White winter wheat | Durum wheat | Barley | So what...?
You're a Canadian farmer growing and marketing crops in Canada. Why should you know where the major US crops are grown and when they are seeded and harvested?
The answer to that question is that the United States is a market leader in many of the world's major crops. A Canadian producer who understands where and when the major US crops are grown has a distinct marketing advantage. A Canadian producer who understands these things will know the importance of US seeded acreage reports, growing conditions reports, weather forecasts, production reports and harvest progress. Some reports, particularly in farm papers are interesting news but they have little market significance. Other reports are very important. Knowing where the various crops are grown can help a Canadian producer separate important market news from "market noise".
This "Market Clippings" will show where each of the major US crops is grown. It will also show when the crops are planted, when they are in their reproductive state and when they are harvested.
The largest US crop in terms of total production is corn. The Midwest states, where most of the corn is grown, are known as the "corn belt" although corn is grown in Kansas, parts of Texas and along the Atlantic coast. Figure 1 shows US corn production areas.
Most US corn is seeded April and May. The important silking or flowering stage occurs during July and the first half of August. Corn is harvested during October and November. Corn production is about one month ahead of these dates across the southern US.
The main producing states of Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio produce nearly 70 per cent of the total US corn crop. Iowa is the largest corn producer, by far.
The second largest crop grown in the United States is soybeans. As with corn, soybeans are primarily grown in the Midwestern states, although the Mississippi Delta areas of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are also important. Soybeans are also grown along the Atlantic Coast. Figure 2 shows US soybean production areas.
US soybeans are seeded during May and June. The important podding stage extends from July through the first three weeks of August. Harvest begins in late September and continues until the end of November.
The main soybean producing states of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio produce nearly 60 per cent of the total US soybean crop. As with corn, Iowa is, by far, the largest soybean producer.
Hard Red Winter Wheat
The third largest crop grown in the United States is wheat. The US produces hard red, soft red and white winter wheats and hard red, and durum spring-seeded varieties. The US also produces very small amounts of white spring wheat.
The largest wheat crop is hard red winter, grown in an area of the US known as the Great Plains States extending from Montana through to south-central Texas. Kansas is the largest producing state, growing about 25 per cent of the total hard red winter crop. The other major producing states, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, produce about 23 per cent of the crop.
Seeding of red winter wheat occurs from late August through to the end of October. Heading begins in late April the following year and extends to early June. Figure 3 shows US red winter wheat producing areas.
Hard Red Spring Wheat
US hard red spring wheat is primarily grown in North and South Dakota and Montana. Those three states produce about 83 per cent of the US HRS crop. The crop is seeded in April through May, heads from mid-June through mid-July and is harvested from mid-July through mid-September. HRS wheat makes up about 20 per cent of the total US wheat crop. Figure 4 show hard red spring growing areas.
Soft Red Winter Wheat
The United States produces about equal amounts of hard red spring and soft red winter wheats but in very different areas. Soft red winter wheat is mostly grown in parts of the eastern corn belt, the northern Mississippi Delta area and along the Atlantic coast. SRW wheat is seeded from late September through to the end of October. It heads the following year from late April through early June and is harvested from late August through to the end of October. Figure 5 shows the SRW producing areas.
The main producing states, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, N. Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee, produce about 51 per cent of the crop. SRW Wheat makes up about 19 per cent of the US wheat crop.
White Winter Wheat
White winter wheat is grown in the Pacific Northwest in parts of Washington, Oregon and southern Idaho. It is seeded from early September through mid-November. Heading occurs from mid-May through nearly the end of June. It is harvested from mid-July to early September. White winter wheat makes up about 10 per cent of the total US wheat crop.
Durum wheat is grown primarily in North Dakota although some is grown in eastern Montana and northern South Dakota. Durum is seeded from April through May. It heads from mid-June through mid-July and is harvested from mid-July through mid-September. US durum production is about five per cent of total wheat production. Figure 7 shows US durum production.
The US barley crop is mostly of interest to Canadian malt barley growers. The US barley is grown over a wide area geographically. The main barley growing state is North Dakota but significant amounts of barley are produced in Montana, Washington, and Idaho. These four states produce about 70 per cent of the US barley crop. The US produces about 60 per cent as much as barley as Canada. Figure 8 show US barley production areas.
Most of the barley is seeded from early April through nearly to the end of May. It is harvested from late July through nearly to the end of September.
So What . . . . ?
The goal of this Market Clippings is to help producers decide which is "market noise" and which is market news. If, for example, you hear a report that says that the corn crop in Texas is suffering from severe drought, you will know that is "market noise" rather than significant market news. Texas doesn't produce a great deal of corn. Or if you hear that the soybean crop in northern Alabama has been damaged by a frost, you'll know that is "market noise".
Humanity, takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cavemen had known how to laugh, history would have been different.