Table of contents

    1. Seven Steps to Better Marketing
    2. Understanding supply factors for agricultural products
    3. How demand and supply determine market price
    4. How exchange rates affect agricultural markets
    5. How interest rates affect agricultural markets
    6. How to use charting to analyse commodity markets
    7. Agriculture marketing clubs
    8. Commodity futures markets
    1. Economics and Marketing – Choosing a Commodity Broker
    2. Margin on futures contracts
    3. Options on futures – an introduction
    4. Using hedging to protect farm product prices
    5. Canola futures contract
    1. Introduction to crop marketing
    2. Basis – How cash grain prices are established
    3. Grain marketing decision grid
    4. Price pooling – How it works
    5. Crop contracts
    6. Grain storage as a marketing strategy
    7. Using producer cars to ship prairie grain
    8. Using frequency charts for marketing decisions
    9. Western Canadian grain catchment
    10. Barley and wheat marketing resources
    11. Wheat basis levels
    12. Wheat quality and protein matters
    13. Wheat pricing considerations
    14. Marketing oats in Canada
    15. US Crops – Where Are They Grown?
    1. Introduction to livestock marketing
    2. Understanding and using basis levels in cattle markets
    3. Forward contracting of cattle
    4. Understanding dressing percentage of slaughter cattle
    5. Understanding the cattle market sliding scale
    6. Predicting feeder cattle prices
    7. Breakeven analysis for feeder cattle
    8. Farm gate values for farm-raised vs purchased calves
    9. Wool marketing in Canada
    10. Marketing feeder lambs
    1. Turf and forage seed trade companies active in the Peace Region
    2. History of creeping red fescue production in the Peace River Region
    3. Alfalfa seed marketing in Canada
    4. Forage seed marketing
    5. Marketing creeping red fescue
    6. Faba bean
    7. Marketing compressed hay
    1. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – A, B
    2. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – C
    3. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – D, E
    4. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – F, G
    5. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – H, I, J, K
    6. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – L, M
    7. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – N, O
    8. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – P, Q, R
    9. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – S
    10. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – T, U
    11. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – V, W
    12. Other Marketing Related Glossaries


The United States is a market leader in many of the world's major crops. Understanding where and when major United States crops are grown can help Canadian farmers market their crops. Reports on United States seeded acreage, growing conditions, weather forecasts, production reports, and harvest progress are all relevant for Canadian farmers.

Some reports, particularly in farm papers, are interesting news, but they have little market significance. Other reports are very important. Knowing where the various crops are grown can help separate important market news from market noise.

Corn, soybeans, barley and oats

The largest United States crop in terms of total production is corn, the majority of which is grown in a region known as the Corn Belt. The second largest crop grown in the United States is soybeans. As with corn, soybeans are primarily grown in the Midwestern states.

The United States barley crop is of most interest to Canadian malt barley growers. United States barley is grown over a wide geographic area with about 60% as much barley production as Canada.

Although the United States produces some oats, Canada is the world's largest oat exporter and supplies about 70% of the oats imported into the United States.

Table 1 and Figures 1 to 4 show the average annual production of these crops in the United States, where they are grown, when they are seeded, when the crop flowers or heads, and when it is harvested.

Table 1. Crop production in the United States

CropAverage annual production 2015 to 2019Primary growing
SeedingFlowering or headingHarvesting
Corn14 billion bushelsIowa
April and MayJuly through first half of AugustOctober and November
Soybeans4 billion bushelsIllinois
May and JuneJuly through first 3 weeks of AugustLate September through October
Barley160 million bushelsIdaho
North Dakota
April and MayJuly through first half of AugustLate July to end of September
Oats53 million bushelsNorth Dakota
South Dakota
April and MayJuly through first half of AugustAugust and September

Source: USDA Crop Production 2019 Summary

US Crop Production Maps

Source: USDA Crop Production Maps

Figure 1. United States corn production

Map showing United States corn production 5 year average from 2012 to 2016.

See full image: United States corn production.

Figure 2. United States soybean production

Map showing United States soybean production 5 year average from 2012 to 2016.

See full image: United States soybean production.

Figure 3. United States barley production

Map showing United States barley production 5 year average from 2012 to 2016.

See full image: United States barley production.

Figure 4. United States oat production

Map showing United States barley production 5 year average from 2012 to 2016.

See full image: United States oat production.


The third largest crop grown in the United States is wheat. The United States produces hard red, soft red and white winter wheats and hard red and durum spring-seeded varieties. A very small amount of white spring wheat is also grown.

Table 2 and Figure 5 show the primary growing areas for each type of wheat, including the average seeding, heading, and harvesting dates.

Table 2. Wheat production in the United States

Type of wheatAverage annual production 2017 to 2019Primary growing areasSeedingHeadingHarvesting
Hard red winter wheat748 million bushelsKansas
Late August to end of OctoberThe following year from late April through early JuneLate May through August
Hard red spring wheat498 million bushelsNorth Dakota
South Dakota
April to MayMid-June to mid-JulyLate July through mid-September
Soft red winter wheat273 million bushelsIndiana
North Carolina
Late September to end of OctoberThe following year from late April through early JuneJune through July
Soft white winter wheat252 million bushelsWashington
Early September to mid-NovemberThe following year from mid-May to end of JuneJuly through August
Durum wheat62 million bushelsWisconsin
North Dakota
South Dakota
April to MayMid-June to mid-JulyMid-July through mid-September
Hard white winter wheat16 million bushels



Late August to end of OctoberThe following year from late April through early JuneJuly through August

Figure 5. Wheat Production Areas in the United States

Map showing wheat production areas in the United States.

Source: National Association of Wheat Growers 2013, 2017 map of wheat grown by region.

Market noise

The goal of this article is to help farmers to decide what is market noise and what is market news. For example, if you hear a report that says that the corn crop in Utah is suffering from drought, you will know that is market noise rather than significant market news as Utah does not produce a great deal of corn. Similarly, if you hear that the soybean crop in Georgia has been damaged by a frost, you will know that is market noise.

Exporting to the United States

If you are interested in exporting to the United States, watch the video: Exporting Grain, Oilseeds and Special Crops to the United States.