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Quality Testing Shows Good Spring Wheat Crop
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/17/2020

Spring wheat harvest is nearing completion with the most recent USDA Crop Progress report indicating that 92% of the U.S. crop has been harvested, similar to the five-year average. The bulk of the harvest season took place under good weather conditions, allowing for smooth harvest pace and very few quality issues. As farmers get further into September, temperatures tend to trend cooler and harvest days become shorter, so producers appreciated the improved harvest situation compared to the extended, troublesome harvest of 2019.

In North Dakota, about 90% of the crop has been harvested, and harvest completion rates across South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana range from 90 to 98%. This is comparable to the five-year averages across the region.

Quality continues to be good on the 2020 spring wheat crop. About 70% of the expected samples for the annual regional quality report have been collected and analyzed at the NDSU wheat quality lab. Protein continues to run higher than last year with the average so far at 14.6% (12% moisture basis). Total defects are averaging 1.2%, with lower damage levels than last year and test weights remain strong with the average being 61.6 pounds per bushel (81.0 kg/hl). Falling numbers are high and the crop currently grades a No. 1 Northern Spring. Vitreous kernel content is averaging 64% so far.

Similar to spring wheat, harvest conditions have been nearly ideal for the Northern durum crop. In North Dakota about 86% of the durum has been harvested, well ahead of last year's difficult harvest when less than half of the crop had been harvested. The majority of the remaining durum crop has reached the mature stage and harvest should be mostly complete in the next week to 10 days. Quality of the durum crop continues to be high. Protein has trended lower as harvest progresses, but the average is still 13.7%, slightly higher than last year. Thousand kernel weight is higher than last year with the average at 47.2 grams and test weight is averaging 61.9 pounds per bushel (80.6 kg/hl). Falling numbers have been strong with the average above 400 seconds. Vitreous kernel content is averaging 88% and the crop currently grades a No. 1 Hard Amber Durum.

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