WHEAT PRODUCTION FORECAST DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM 2003


Columbia, S.C., May 12, 2004: Based on May 1 conditions, SOUTH CAROLINA'S WINTER WHEAT production in 2004 is expected to total 7.20 million bushels, the South Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service announced today. This is down slightly from the 7.22 million bushels produced in 2003, but 14 percent above the 6.29 million bushels produced in 2002. Acres for harvest, at 180,000, is down 5,000 acres from 2003 but up 10,000 from 2002. This year's expected average yield per acre of 40.0 bushels is up 1 bushel from 2003 and up 3 bushels from 2002.

Winter wheat production in the UNITED STATES is forecast at 1.55 billion bushels, down 9 percent from 2003. Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 44.2 bushels per acre, 2.5 bushels less than last year. Grain area totals 35.1 million acres, down 4 percent from last season. Hard Red production is down 14 percent from a year ago to 910 million bushels. Soft Red is up 5 percent and totals 399 million bushels. White production totals 242 million bushels, down 9 percent from a year ago.



For additional information:

Robert A. Graham, Director

James S. Peele, Agricultural Statistician