An Estimated 2.1 MMT of US Durum Production in 2018

Today, we got the USDA’s first projections for the 2018/19 crop. These give grain markets an idea of durum production and demand.

Today, we got the USDA’s first projections for the 2018/19 crop. In addition to giving grain markets an idea of what production numbers are going to be around the world, they also gave us a look at the demand side.

For durum, the USDA doesn’t actually provide a projection until later in the growing season but, given the focus being around production, we took our own stab at the production.

This year, the USDA is estimating that American farmers will plant 2 million acres of durum. This is 13% down year over year. Historically speaking, 95.9% of the planted acres of durum gets harvested, which means that this year, it can be postulated that American farmers will combine about 1.9 million acres of durum.

Using the average yield of the last 5 years of 39.4 bushels/acre, it can be forecasted that the American farmer will produce 2.1 million tonnes of durum.

Compared to last year’s production 1.5 million tonnes, this would mean that this year’s American durum harvest will be 32.1% higher.


Something worth thinking about is how last year’s lower yield have pulled down the five-year average. That being said, the total production number could be even higher if we get even more normalized yields. 

Regardless, it looks like North American durum supplies will get a bit more heavy in 2018/19. But, again, everything depends on the weather from now during the planting season this spring until harvest in the fall. Therefore, the weather is a wildcard to watch going forward. 

About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.