Buoyed by higher prices and favorable planting conditions, Texas wheat producers have planted more acreage than for any year since 1998, according to the Texas Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 6.6 million acre 2003 winter wheat crop represents a 3 percent increase over last year, 18 percent above 2001.

“Higher prices and favorable weather in the Panhandle should benefit producers this season,” state Director Robin Roark reported.

Nationally, U.S. winter wheat acreage for 2003 totaled 44.2 million acres, up 6 percent from 2002.

According to TASS, the second quarter wheat stocks for Texas were down 25 percent from last year. Stocks in all positions on Dec. 1 totaled 91.8 million bushels.

The on-farm wheat storage, at 2 million bushels, was down from the 2.3 million bushels stored on farms a year ago. Off-farm wheat stocks, at 89.8 million bushels, accounted for 98 percent of all wheat stocks.

All sorghum stocks in all positions for Texas totaled 31.6 million hundredweight on Dec. 1, down only slightly from the previous year. On-farm stocks totaled 2.8 million cwt compared to the same amount a year ago.

Off-farm sorghum stocks, at 28.8 million hundredweight, accounted for 91 percent of all sorghum stocks.

U.S. corn stocks in all positions on Dec. 1, 2002, totaled 7.63 billion bushels, down 8 percent from Dec. l, 2001. All wheat stocks in all positions on Dec. 1, totaled 1.32 billion bushels, down 19 percent from a year ago.

Grain sorghum in all positions totaled 128.6 million hundredweight, down 27 percent from Dec. 1, 2001.

Soybeans stored in all positions on Dec. 1, 2002, totaled 2.11 billion bushels, down 7 percent from Dec. 1, 2001. Oats in all positions totaled 104 million bushels, down 9 percent from the previous December.