May WASDE Shows 147 Million Bushels of US Barley in 2018

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

Here’s our breakdown of the numbers.

The USDA’s May WASDE report showed the market that American farmers will produce 147 million bushels of barley in 2018. This is 3.6% higher than last year’s 142 million bushels of barley that were taken off by farmers.

Compared to the five-year average of 192 million bushels, 2018/19 American barley production is 23.3% lower.

From a demand perspective, we can look to ending stocks to get an idea of where we sit. For American barley, 2018/19 carryout is expected to come in at 47 million bushels. This is 32% below the 65 million bushels of barley that the 2017/18 crop year is supposed to end with.

The other key takeaways are the small decline in U.S. barley acreage. The 2.3 million acres set for 2018/19 is 200,000 acres lower than the figure from the previous year. 

Barley yields are expected to increase from 72.6 bushels per acre to 73.5 bushels per acre. The agency has set a very wide farm price range on barley between $4.00 to $5.20. 

In 2017/18, the average farm price was $4.50.


About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of, 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.