|The following is reprinted from the North Dakota Wheat Commission Crop Progress Report of August 12.|
Dry conditions most of last week allowed producers to make steady progress harvesting their HRS crop, although progress is still well behind average. The U.S. HRS crop is now 16 percent harvested, up 10 points from last week, but still behind the average of 36 percent. Harvest completion rates range from 7 percent in Minnesota to 34 percent in South Dakota. Precipitation that fell over the weekend and beginning of the current week will keep producers from harvesting until fields dry out. Dry conditions are needed to push along harvest progress and maintain quality.
Initial reports indicate a wide variance in protein for the HRS crop. Protein levels have been anywhere in the range of 13-17 percent around the region and an average is hard to determine since we are in the very early stages of harvest and HRS has been slow to enter the supply chain. Lighter test weights have been reported in the western areas of the region as expected, however, a region-wide average it tough to determine at this time. We expect that as we see more harvest in the eastern areas, test weights will improve. As more of the crop is harvested this week, a more accurate measure of protein and test weight will be determined. Crop conditions declined this week, although the crop condition ratings become less important as the crop reaches harvest. Fifty-three percent of the U.S. HRS crop is rated in good to excellent condition, down from 56 percent the previous week. The crop is rated the lowest in Montana and North Dakota where yields have been affected by the drought conditions. The U.S. yield for spring wheat was lowered slightly this month from 36.8 bushels per acre to 36.4 bushels in USDA's crop production report.