Wheat Plunges as U.S. Report Shows Spring Acreage Increased By Tony C. Dreibus June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat plunged the most in 10 weeks after a government report showed U.S. growers seeded more acres with spring crops to take advantage of prices that rallied to a record this year. About 14.197 million acres were sown in April and May, up 6.8 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected 14.312 million acres. Wheat futures have tumbled 35 percent from a record $13.495 a bushel on Feb. 27. ``When prices get that high, you find every nook and cranny to plant on,'' said Darrell Holaday, the president of Advanced Market Concepts in Manhattan, Kansas. ``This report sets a negative tone for the week.'' Wheat futures for September delivery fell 41 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $8.71 a bushel at 11:37 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would be the biggest drop for a most-active contract since April 18. The price has still gained 50 percent in the past year after adverse weather curbed production in 2007. Growers are expected to harvest 13.8 million acres of spring wheat in the year that started June 1, up from 12.9 million the previous year, the USDA said. Farmers may seed 63.5 million acres with all varieties of wheat in the year that ends May 31, a 5 percent jump from the prior year, the government said. Production is expected to increase 18 percent to 2.43 billion bushels, or 66.2 million metric tons, in the marketing year, the USDA said on June 10. Wheat Inventories Inventories of U.S. wheat will more than double to 13.3 million tons by May 31, the government said. Global stockpiles are expected to increase to 132.1 million tons, from 115.1 million. The price also may be rising on forecasts for dry weather in the southern U.S. Great Plains, where most of the winter crop is grown. The harvest should move quickly as farmers take advantage of the lack of rain to collect crops in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, the largest growers of winter wheat. ``We'll have a good week of harvest on wheat,'' Holaday said. ``By next Sunday, you'll be amazed how much wheat in Kansas will be cut.'' About 22 percent of the winter heat was harvested as of June 22, the USDA said a week ago. The department will update harvest progress at 4 p.m. today in Washington. Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $13.7 billion in 2007, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.