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Crop Progress Report September 30, 2014

Harvest of the 2014 US hard red spring wheat crop is nearly finished with 94 percent of the crop reported to be harvested as of September 28. This is up from 86 percent the previous week and right near the 2013 and 5 year average paces of 95 and 96 percent, respectively. Harvest is essentially finished across Minnesota and South Dakota and both Montana and North Dakota are now above 90 percent. Progress this week will be limited for the remaining portion of the crop as cooler temperatures and rain return to the region early to mid-week.

The most recent quality data on the 2014 harvest is holding steady with the past two weeks. Based on analysis of approximately 80 percent of the crop data is reflecting a crop that has below average protein and vitreous kernel counts, but strong grade features. There are isolated pockets of lower falling numbers and higher DON values but the crop overall reflects sound quality values. The average protein level slipped to 13.5 percent which compares to 13.6 percent last year. The crop has an average falling number of 374 seconds, down from 421 and the average vitreous kernel counts are 56 percent, well below the traditional levels for hard red spring wheat. Test weights have fallen slightly since the start of harvest but still hold at a historically strong level of nearly 61 pounds per bushel, but down from the 2013 average of 62.3 pounds. The remaining samples to be analyzed are not anticipated to shift current crop quality averages.

The northern U.S. durum harvest was nearly 80 percent complete as of September 28 as producers in both Montana and North Dakota were able to make more than 20 percent gains from the previous week. Well above average temperatures with wind and generally dry conditions provided ideal conditions. Progress is still slightly behind the 5 year average level in North Dakota, but is near the 5 year average in Montana. This week's progress will not be as robust as the previous two with forecasted rain and cooler temperatures pushing completion of the harvest in both states into early October.

Quality impacts continue to be seen on samples of recently harvested durum, primarily lower color and lower falling numbers due to September rains, and some areas are showing higher damage levels due to disease pressures. Based on analysis of 60 percent of the crop, average quality data has the crop at a #2 Amber Durum, with a greater than normal percentage of the crop slipping to lower grades and vitreous kernel counts. The average protein level is 13.2 percent, up slightly from last year with the average vitreous kernel count of 72 percent, well below last year's 87 percent. Average test weight is 59 pounds per bushel, down from 61 last year and the average falling number is 294 seconds, also below last year's 384 seconds.

Percent Headed and Harvested by State
  9/28/14 Last week Last year 5 Year Avg.
ND Spring - % headed 96 91 97 98
ND Spring - % harvested 91 82 94 96
ND Durum - % headed 98 71 100 100
ND Durum - % harvested 78 55 82 88
Minnesota - % headed 95 92 100 100
Minnesota - % harvested 99 91 100 100
Montana - % headed 98 93 93 92
Montana - % harvested 92 81 91 89
South Dakota - % headed 100 100 100 100
South Dakota - % harvested 99 97 100 100
U.S. - % headed 97 93 97 97
U.S. - % harvested 94 86 95 96

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