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U.S. Wheat Acreage Seen Higher as Drought Means Smaller Crops

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. farmers will plant 56 million acres with wheat in the year starting June 1, up 0.5 percent from the previous year, according to Joe Glauber, the chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was 56.27 million.

The plantings will produce a crop of 2.1 billion bushels, down 7.4 percent, as dry soils from the worst drought since the 1930s hurts yields, Glauber said today at the USDA’s annual outlook forum in Arlington, Virginia.

Prices will average $7 a bushel during the crop year, down 11 percent from the previous year, the USDA forecast. The May futures contract fell 1.1 percent to $7.35 at 9:09 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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