May WASDE Shows 66 Million Bushels of US Oats in 2018

Today, we got the USDA’s first projections for the 2018/19 crop. These give grain markets an idea of oats 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 66 million bushels of oats in 2018. This is 29.6% higher than last year’s 49 million bushels of oats that were taken off by farmers.

Compared to the five-year average of 68 million bushels, 2018/19 American oats production is 2.5% lower.

From a demand perspective, we can just look to ending stocks to get an idea of where we sit.

For American oats, 2018/19 carryout is expected to come in at 26 million bushels. This is 21.3% above the 21 million bushels of oats that the 2017/18 crop year is supposed to end with.

U.S. oats production is a very small amount of crop compared to Canadian output. But it still provides a good proxy on how farmers are shifting acres.

Oat acreage is pegged at 2.7 million acres with expectations of 1 million acres harvested.

The average farm price for oats ranges between $2.55 to $3.15 per bushel.

Looking ahead, the weather will remain the key factor in oats production just like what we saw in 2017/18.

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.