The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its crop outlook for the 2023/24 season, revealing a mix of projected increases and decreases across a range of critical commodities. The report provides projections for wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, sugarbeet, red meat and poultry, dairy, and cotton production.
The forecast for U.S. wheat suggests reduced supplies and exports, increased domestic use, and smaller stocks compared with the 2022/23 season. Despite the reduced supplies, total wheat production is projected at 1,659 million bushels, marking a modest increase over last year due to an expansion in the harvested area. This increase, however, is dampened by an above-average abandonment rate in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. As a result, the average yield is projected to drop by 1.8 bushels per acre to 44.7 bushels.
On the global agriculture outlook, wheat supplies, trade, consumption, and ending stocks are all expected to decline compared with the 2022/23 season. However, global production is forecast to reach a record 789.8 million tons, up 1.5 million, thanks to larger crops in several countries. Notably, Argentina is expected to recover from a drought, while Canada is predicted to produce near-record production. In contrast, substantial declines are forecast in Australia, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
The 2023/24 outlook for U.S. corn predicts more significant production, increased domestic use and exports, and higher ending stocks. The U.S. corn crop is projected at a record 15.3 billion bushels, reflecting a more than 10% increase from last year. Similarly, the global coarse grain outlook for 2023/24 anticipates record production, use, and more extensive ending stocks.
The U.S. rice outlook for 2023/24 forecasts larger supplies, exports, domestic use, and ending stocks, primarily driven by increased harvested area and higher expected yields. However, South American competition is expected to limit the expansion of U.S. long-grain exports.
The outlook for U.S. soybeans in 2023/24 projects higher supplies, crush, and ending stocks but lower exports compared with the 2022/23 season. The increase in supply stems from a 5% rise in the soybean crop, projected at 4.51 billion bushels, mainly due to higher yields.
The U.S. sugarbeet production for 2023/24 is projected at 33.345 million tons, with cane sugar production expected at 4.264 million STRV. Meanwhile, Mexico’s sugar production for the same period is projected at 5.900 million metric tons, with all exports intended for the U.S. market under export license.
The 2024 forecast for U.S. red meat and poultry production is slated to be 1% lower than 2023. This is due to expected beef and pork production declines, which are predicted to offset the higher poultry production.
Milk production for 2024 is projected to exceed 2023 levels, driven by gains in milk per cow and an additional milking day. This includes forecasted increases in commercial exports of both fat and skim solids.
The 2023/24 U.S. cotton crop is projected to increase, with production forecast at 15.5 million bales. HarAs a result, harvested is expected to rise to 8.71 million acres, and exports and U.S. mill use are also predicted to increase.