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Good Harvest Weather Further Stresses Wheat in Drought Areas
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/08/2017

Limited precipitation and a return to warmer temperatures allowed for a good week of spring wheat harvest. While good for harvest, the weather conditions further stressed drought stricken areas, including wildfires in western Montana. The U.S. harvest is now almost 90 percent complete, ahead of average. Harvest completion rates range from 85 percent in North Dakota to 97 percent complete in South Dakota. The drier conditions allowed good harvest progress in eastern growing areas where damp conditions had delayed harvest. The Minnesota harvest is now 89 percent complete, up 25 percentage points from last week. Weather conditions this week should allow much of the remaining harvest to be completed.

About half of the expected samples have been collected and analyzed at the NDSU wheat quality lab. Average protein dropped slightly this week, but at 15 percent is still about a point above the average. Average test weight remained relatively stable at 60.8 pound per bushel (80 kg/hl.) and average vitreous kernel content has dropped off a bit to 82 percent. The crop currently grades a No. 1 Dark Northern Spring. Average falling number remains high at 400 seconds. The crop currently has one percent total defects with most of this being shrunken and broken kernels.

Durum harvest is well ahead of average in both North Dakota and Montana. Harvest progress continues to be pushed along due to dry conditions and well below average yields. Yield reports of 5-20 bushels are quite common, with some producers reporting yields closer to 30-35 bushels. In North Dakota, about three-fourths of the durum has been harvested, up from 38 percent last week and 55 percent on average. In Montana, 84 percent of the durum has been harvested.

About half of the crop quality samples have been analyzed. Average protein remains about a point higher than last year's crop at 14.8 percent. Test weight is averaging 59.8 pounds per bushel (77.9 kg/hl), and thousand kernel weight is averaging 35.7 grams, both lower than last year's levels. Falling number is averaging 381 seconds, but some samples have come in below 330 seconds. The crop currently grades a No. 2 Hard Amber Durum with average vitreous kernel content of 92 percent. Most of the total defects (1.2 percent) are shrunken and broken kernels. With only half of the samples collected, this data will continue to change on a weekly basis.

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