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Crop Progress Report September 16, 2014

Harvest of the 2014 US hard red spring wheat crop was three fourths complete as of September 14, up 16 percentage points from the previous week, but still about 12 percentage points behind the five-year average. Favorable weather allowed progress to accelerate across North Dakota and Minnesota with both states jumping by 23 and 20 percent, respectively, from the previous week. Progress has now reached 65 percent complete in North Dakota and 74 percent in Minnesota, representing the best week of harvest this season for both states. Progress in Montana was pegged at 73 percent complete, up from 66 percent the previous week, and just slightly behind the five-year average. Harvest is essentially complete in South Dakota and the Pacific Northwest states. Forecasts for this week and next look favorable for continued good progress across the spring wheat region which should allow harvest to near completion by the end of September.

The latest quality data on the hard red spring crop (representing roughly the first 40 percent of the harvest) shows average protein at 13.6 percent, similar to the 2013 crop and down slightly from previous weeks. Average grade is a #1 with a 60.7 lb/bu test weight average. Vitreous kernel counts have slipped below the 75% threshold for a Dark Northern Spring wheat sub-classification, impacted by the lower average protein levels in parts of the crops and the frequent rains received during harvest across the region. On a positive note though, an average falling number of 385 seconds indicates mostly sound conditions in the crop evaluated to-date. Damaged kernel levels are at 0.7 percent, up slightly from 0.2 percent in the 2013 crop, but well below early harvest expectations due to concerns about Fusarium pressures on parts of the crop. While adverse weather has created challenging and sluggish harvest conditions for many producers, and in areas adversely impacted quality, most areas seem to be holding key quality factors better than expected.

The northern US durum harvest was pegged at 38 percent completed in Montana as of September 14, up from 29 percent the previous week, but well behind the 60 percent five-year average. In North Dakota, harvest was 34 percent completed, up from 20 percent the previous week, but also well behind the more typical average of 60 percent. Adverse harvest weather has had an impact on quality in portions of the crop, but with notable progress yet to be made, it is too early to assess overall impacts. The later maturity on portions of the crop should be a beneficial factor in helping minimize quality loss. Key factors that will be closely watched as harvest makes further progress in the coming weeks include vitreous kernel counts and falling number values. Based on only 12 percent of the harvest samples collected in the annual crop quality survey, average falling number values are 349 seconds, compared to 385 seconds in 2013. Average protein was 12.9% compared to 13.1% last year.

Percent Headed and Harvested by State
  9/15/14 Last week Last year 5 Year Avg.
ND Spring - % headed 96 91 97 98
ND Spring - % harvested 65 42 86 84
ND Durum - % headed 98 71 100 100
ND Durum - % harvested 34 20 61 68
Minnesota - % headed 95 92 100 100
Minnesota - % harvested 74 54 96 93
Montana - % headed 98 93 93 92
Montana - % harvested 73 66 82 77
South Dakota - % headed 100 100 100 100
South Dakota - % harvested 94 88 100 100
U.S. - % headed 97 93 97 97
U.S. - % harvested 74 58 89 86

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