WHEAT PRODUCTION FORECAST UP FROM 2002

Columbia, S.C., May 12, 2003: Based on May 1 conditions, SOUTH CAROLINA'S WINTER WHEAT production is expected to total 8.00 million bushels, the South Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service announced today. This is 14 percent above the 7.03 million bushels produced in 2002 but 11 percent below the 9.03 million bushels produced in 2001. Acres for harvest, at 200,000, is up 10,000 acres from 2002 but down 10,000 from 2001. This year's expected average yield per acre of 40.0 bushels is up 3 bushels from 2002 but down 3 bushels from 2001.

Winter wheat production in the UNITED STATES is forecast at 1.56 billion bushels, up 37 percent from 2002. Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 42.9 bushels per acre, 4.4 bushels more than last year. Grain area totals 36.4 million acres, up 23 percent from last season. Hard Red production is up 55 percent from a year ago to 942 million bushels. Soft Red is up 12 percent and totals 372 million bushels. White production totals 250 million bushels, up 24 percent from a year ago.

For additional information:

Robert A. Graham, State Statistician

James S. Peele, Agricultural Statistician