WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The first government forecast of the growing season shows U.S. farmers planted fewer acres of winter wheat for harvest this year.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that the 41.9 million planted acres are down 2 percent from last year. Seeding for the 2014 winter wheat crop began in August.
Plantings of hard red winter wheat, used to make bread, were estimated to be up 2 percent at 30.1 million acres.
Significantly more hard red wheat acres were seeded in North Dakota, Montana and Colorado. Those helped offset large acreage decreases in South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Utah had a record low acreage, while North Dakota seeded a record high number of wheat acres.
Kansas planted 8.8 million acres of winter wheat, down 7 percent from a year ago.