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Arizona, California wheat acreage higher in 2008

Arizona durum wheat seedings for 2008 are estimated at 140,000 acres, up 60,000 acres from 2007. Other wheat seedings at 10,000 acres are up 4,000 acres from last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service – Arizona Field Office.

Durum wheat seedlings in Arizona and California for 2008 harvest are estimated at 280,000 acres. This total is up 70 percent from the 2007 level. Planting is ongoing in California's San Joaquin and Imperial valleys as well as western Arizona.

Planted acreage is up 60,000 in Arizona and up 55,000 in California due mostly to good prices. No major problems with the crop have been reported.

Winter Wheat: Planted area for harvest in 2008 is estimated at 46.6 million acres, up 4 percent from 2007. Seeding began last August behind the 5-year average pace and remained behind until mid-November due to a lack of moisture in the Great Plains during much of the seeding period. Nearly all U.S. acreage was seeded by Dec. 1 with the exception of some intended acres in the Southeast and California. Seeding was completed by the end of December in California. The winter wheat crop condition at the end of November was rated at 44 percent good to excellent compared with 53 percent the previous year.

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