For information on current and previous baseline projections for
wheat, see the Market Outlook page.
Prospects in Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat Futures Markets: New
Entrants, Price Volatility, and Market Performance
Implications (August 2009) discusses the role and
objective of new futures traders compared with those of traditional
futures traders. This report seeks to determine what changes have
occurred in the futures market as a result of new entrants and to
discover whether the composition of traders in futures markets has
contributed to the weakening of the link between futures and cash
of Higher Input Costs and Wheat Prices for U.S. Wheat
Producers (March 2009) uses a cumulative distribution of
forecasted production costs for wheat farms to show that current
high (but falling) wheat prices will allow a greater share of
producers to cover their production costs in 2008 (90 percent) than
in 2004 (82 percent), despite higher input costs in 2008. However,
if farm-gate prices for wheat continue to fall into 2009, the U.S.
wheat sector may see further attrition of planted area.
Agricultural Commodity Price Spikes in the 1970s
and 1990s: Valuable Lessons for Today (March 2008)
examines the recent runup in commodity prices in light of similar
occurrences in 1971-74 and 1994-96. Although similar to those
earlier price runups, rising demand for grains and oilseeds for
biofuels adds a new dimension of complexity.
Fluctuating Food Commodity Prices: A Complex Issue
With No Easy Answers (November 2008) explores the many
factors that contributed to the rapid escalation of food commodity
prices through mid-2008. For the full report, see Global Agricultural
Supply and Demand: Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in
Food Commodity Prices (July 2008).
Wheat Year in Review (International): Low 2007/08
Stocks and Higher Prices Drive Outlook (May 2008) reviews the world situation for the
2007/08 marketing year. The low stocks and high prices during fall
2007, as well as favorable planting conditions for the Northern
Hemisphere, resulted in more planted area. With the increase in
planted area, if weather is normal, global production should reach
a record high in 2008/09.
The U.S. Grain
Consumption Landscape: Who Eats Grain, In What Form, Where, and How
Much? (November 2007) compares Americans consumption of
grains with the recommendations in the Government's 2005 Dietary
Guidelines, using data from USDA's Continuing Survey of Food
Intakes by Individuals, 1994-96 and 1998. Results suggest that
consumers who perceive grain consumption as important and read food
labels during shopping tend to eat more whole grains than other
The Changing Face
of the U.S. Grain System (February 2007) discusses the
evolving nature of U.S. grain handling and marketing, which is
increasingly marked by product differentiation and market
segmentation. More specialty crops now require either some form of
segregation or full-scale identity preservation to keep them
separate from conventional commodities. Market segmentation within
the grain system is driven by the need to preserve market value or
ensure product purity.
Hard White Wheat at a Crossroads
(December 2004) provides background on the forces that led to the
expansion of hard white wheat (HWW) production, its milling and
baking qualities that make it particularly suited for certain
products such as tortillas and Oriental noodles, the adaptation of
the marketing system to preserve its identity, and the prospects
for HWW's production expansion. Continuing expansion of HWW
production would depend on the development of new, higher yielding
varieties that are more tolerant to sprout damage and the
continuation of the Government incentive program.
Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Wheat
Farms (July 2002) reports that the average cost of
producing a bushel of wheat in 1998 was $3.97, ranging from about
$1.25 to more than $6 per bushel. Regional differences in
production practices and growing conditions were major influences
on production costs and yields among wheat producers.
How Wheat Production Costs Vary
(March 2002) draws on the most
recent Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) to show that
the cost of producing wheat varied widely among growers, primarily
because of differences in production practices and yields.
Price Determination for Corn and Wheat: The Role
of Market Factors and Government Programs (August 1999)
finds a number of factors affect U.S. farm-level prices for corn
and wheat, indicated by models based on supply and demand
conditions, as well as government policies.
Providing Timely Farm Price Forecasts: Using Wheat
Futures Prices to Forecast U.S. Wheat Prices at the Farm
Level (June 1999) includes
technical analyses of forecasting wheat prices.
Impact of Karnal Bunt Phytosanitary Wheat Export Certificates
(August 2010). This report gives the results of ERS research on
the economic consequences of ending the USDA Karnal bunt (KB)
certification program for U.S. exports to countries that ban import
of wheat from countries known to have the disease. USDA currently
issues certificates that U.S. wheat shipments are from areas where
KB is not known to occur.
Counter-Cyclical Payments: Implications for Producer Risk
Management and Program Administration (February 2007)
illustrates an improved method for estimating counter-cyclical
payment (CCP) rates by accounting for the variability in market
price forecast errors. Forecasters and producers can use the model
to calculate the probability of having to repay advanced CCPs.
Wheat Backgrounder (December 2005)
addresses key domestic and international market and policy
developments that have affected the U.S. wheat sector in recent
years. The report contains information on supply and demand
developments, domestic and trade policy, a wheat farm profile and
financial characteristics, and addresses issues and opportunities
to be considered in domestic agricultural policy deliberations.
Wheat and Barley Policies in Japan
(November 2004) provides a detailed description and analysis of
policies used by Japan to support its wheat and barley producers.
Japan uses tax revenues and a markup on prices of wheat and barley
imported within a quota to provide large direct payments to
producers. Consumers and taxpayers ultimately pay for this
The 2002 Farm Act: Provisions and Implications for
Commodity Markets (November 2002) provides an initial
assessment of the legislation's effects on agricultural production,
commodity markets, and net farm income over the next 10 years.
Results indicate that commodity market impacts are fairly small.
Net farm income is projected higher than under a continuation of
the 1996 Farm Act, largely reflecting an increase in government
Economic Analysis of Ending the Issuance of Karnal
Bunt Phytosanitary Wheat Export Certificates (March 2002) indicates that ending this
certification program would jeopardize U.S. exports to some
countries. The loss of export markets for U.S. wheat producers
would be only partly offset by increased domestic feeding of lower
priced wheat. Reduced wheat production and lower wheat prices would
reduce the total value of the wheat produced in the country, as
well as net income in U.S. agriculture.
Wheat: Background and Issues for Farm
Legislation (August 2002) addresses considerations in the
2002 farm bill debate, including market conditions, policy
proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy
Analysis of the U.S. Commodity Loan Program with
Marketing Loan Provisions (May 2001) assesses the impacts
of marketing loans on production, use, and prices, and illustrates
that the program has enabled farmers to attain, on average,
per-unit revenues that exceed commodity loan rates.
Wheat and the Conservation Reserve Program: Past,
Present, and Future (March
1997) contains background on the impact of USDA's land retirement
program on wheat production, particularly in the Plains.
Volatility in Afghanistan's Wheat Market (May 2010)
analyzes the role imports have played in stabilizing Afghan wheat
prices by mitigating the effects of shortfalls in domestic
production and assesses whether Afghanistan's internal wheat
markets are sufficiently connected with international markets to
cope with volatility in domestic output.
Wheat Year in Review (International): Low 2007/08 Stocks and Higher
Prices Drive Outlook (May 2008)
reviews the world situation for the 2007/08 marketing year. The low
stocks and high prices during fall 2007, and favorable planting
conditions for the Northern Hemisphere, resulted in more planted
area. With the increase in planted area, if the weather is normal,
global production should reach a record high in 2008/09.
Indian Wheat and
Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform (May
2007) suggests that future developments in India's food grain
sector will be shaped by how policies adapt to the sector's new
economic environment. Some changes, such as reducing price supports
and the scope of government food grain operations, would likely cut
government costs, benefit consumers, allow a larger private-sector
role in the domestic market, and increase reliance on trade.
Black Sea Grain Exports: Will They Be Moderate or
Large? (October 2004) examines the prospects for grain
exports (mostly wheat) by the transition economies of Central and
Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States that export through
the Black Sea, the largest being Russia and Ukraine. If
productivity growth in the region is high, annual grain exports by
Black Sea countries could rise to 30-40 million metric tons.
China's Wheat Economy: Current Trends and
Prospects for Imports (May 2004) provides an overview of
wheat production and consumption trends in China, including factors
that contributed to slumping imports in recent years. It projects
that China will regain its status as a net wheat importer, with
imports rising sharply in the next year or two (2005-06), but
falling back to modest levels after that time.
Mycotoxin Hazards and Regulations: Impacts on Food
and Animal Feed Crop Trade (November
2003) addresses the difficulty of balancing food safety concerns
and efforts to limit the economic costs of trade disruptions. This
chapter reviews food safety risks posed by mycotoxin-contaminated
grains and demonstrates that a lack of international consensus on
mycotoxin standards has important trade implications.
International Wheat Breeding and Future Wheat
Productivity in Developing Countries
(March 2002) explains the slowing of
wheat yield growth in developing countries and examines future
challenges for wheat breeding in these countries.
The New Agricultural Trade Negotiations:
Background and Issues for the U.S. Wheat Sector (March 2000) focuses on further reducing tariffs and
improving market access, eliminating and prohibiting the use of
export subsidies, and placing further limitations on
trade-distorting domestic support programs.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Statistics Service provides data on yields,
acreage, production, prices by State and nationally, as well as
current crop progress and commodity specific reports.
World Agricultural Outlook Board provides data
on supply and use of wheat and other principal crops for the United
States and other countries.
Marketing Service provides current cash grain prices and market
news, as well as information on grain transportation and exporting,
and standardization and grading.
Agricultural Service provides data on current U.S. wheat export
sales, data on supply and demand (including imports and exports)
for major wheat trading countries, and current world market and
Management Agency provides crop insurance information.
Farm Service Agency offers extensive
information on farm and conservation programs and on specific
commodity programs and markets, as well as program-related USDA
National Agricultural Library, National
Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR) offers online
browsing of historical ERS Agricultural Economic Reports
and Agriculture Information Bulletins.
U.S. Department of Commerce
Bureau provides data on wheat ground and flour production, and
the Economic Census.