Grain price: US plants lowest wheat area in 100 years

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its Prospective Plantings report on Friday (March 29).

The planted area of wheat is estimated to be down for 2019, by approximately 4% to 45.8 million acres. This is no doubt due in some way to poor prices.

This is the lowest area of wheat planted since records began 100 years ago, in 1919, according to the USDA.

Of this winter wheat area 31.5 million hectares are planted to winter varieties – 22.4 million acres of hard red winter; 5.55 million acres of soft red winter; and 3.35 million acres of white winter. The winter wheat area is down 3% from 2018.

The area planted to spring wheat is estimated at 12.8 million acres – down 3% from 2018.

Corn and soybeans

Corn (maize corn) area is up 4% (3.66 million acres) to 92.8 million acres from 2018. The area planted is expected to be up or unchanged in 34 of 48 states which estimate area planted.

Soybean area is down 5% from last year to 84.6 million acres. The area is down or unchanged in 26 of 29 states, meaning is has only risen in three states.

Wheat price down, while FOB Creil holds its own

Grain price took a fall towards the end of last week. LIFFE, MATIF and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat all finished down on the week previous.

However, there was good news for malting barley growers whose price is now based on the Free On Board (FOB) Creil price – it remained at €188.00/t for the week gone by.

AgriLand was first with news of the agreed deal last week and reaction to arrangement seems to be positive so far. Growers are signing contracts this week and all must be signed on or before April 4 (Thursday).

Also Read: Deal agreed: Boortmalt and IFA reach deal – €195/t to be offered tomorrow


LIFFE wheat for May opened the week at £164.35/t (Monday, March 25) and while it held fairly firm throughout the week it finished at £163.50/t on Friday, March 29.


MATIF wheat for May took a bigger drop. At close of business on Monday (March 25) MATIF wheat was at €189.50/t.

It fell steadily from that day on, hitting €188.00/t on Tuesday (March 26); €186.50/t on Wednesday (March 27); €186.00/t on Thursday (March 28); and finished the week at €185.75/t on Friday (March 29).


CBOT wheat (May) was at 469.50c/bu on Monday evening (March 25) and stayed in or around this price until Thursday (March 28) when it finished the day at 464.50c/bu. By Friday (March 29) it had slumped further to 457.75c/bu.

FOB Creil (two-row malting barley)

FOB Creil reached a price of €188.00/t on Friday, March 22 and has remained there ever since.