An Estimated 410,225 MT of US Lentils Production in 2018

Today, we got the USDA’s first projections for the 2018/19 crop. These give grain markets an idea of lentils 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 lentils, 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 791,000 acres of lentils. This is down 28% year over year. Historically speaking, 94.8% of the planted acres of lentils gets harvested in the US, which means that this year, it can be postulated that American farmers will combine 749,785 acres of lentils.

Using the average yield of the last 5 years of 1,206 lbs/acre, it can be forecasted that the American farmer will produce 410,225 metric tonnes of lentils.

Compared to last year’s production 339,335 tonnes, this would mean that this year’s American lentils harvest will be 21% higher.

We are assuming that we will have better (read: not as dry) weather this year, and thus, production in 2018/19 is expected to be up due to yield increase.

We have to point that this production forecast is just a shot in the dark.

If accurate though, it means that North American lentils supplies could get hefty. But 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.