Too Much Rain on a Smaller Soft Red Winter Crop
Following planting in the fall of 2018, much of the U.S. soft red winter (SRW) growing area received excessive moisture throughout the winter and spring, which also caused lengthy harvest delays in many areas. The excessive moisture adversely affected quality by reducing falling number values and increasing DON values in some areas. At an estimated 7.01 million metric tons (MMT), this is a smaller crop than in 2018 because farmers seeded less and average yield per harvested acre was below last year and the five-year average. Processors should find good qualities in the 2019 SRW crop for cookies and crackers and segments of the crop showed good cake qualities.
That is a summary of results from the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) 2019 SRW Crop Quality Report, now posted online at https://bit.ly/SRWCQ0919. To complete the report, Great Plains Analytical Laboratory in Kansas City, Mo., collected and analyzed 261 samples from 18 reporting areas in the 11 states that account for about 72% of total 2019 SRW production. Funding for the annual survey come from state wheat commission USW members and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
As always, buyers are encouraged to review their quality specifications to ensure that their purchases meet their expectations.
Wheat and Grade Data. The overall average grade of the samples collected for the 2019 SRW harvest survey is U.S. No. 2. The average test weight is 58.1 lb/bu (76.5 kg/hl), equal to the 5-year average and above the 57.9 lb/bu (76.2 kg/hl) average in 2018. The Gulf Port average of 58.5 lb/bu (76.9 kg/hl) is above both last year and the 5-year average. The East Coast test weight average of 56.9 lb/bu (75.0 kg/hl) is above last year but below the 5-year average of 57.4 lb/bu (75.6 kg/hl).
The East Coast Total Defects average of 2.5% is above last year and the 5-year average, indicating that damaged and shrunken and broken kernels are slightly higher than usual in that portion of the crop. The Gulf Port Total Defects is 1.1%, above 2018 but almost half of the 5-year average. Other Gulf Port grade factors, dockage and moisture are close to or higher than 2018 and 5-year average values.
The Composite average wheat protein content of 9.5% (12% moisture basis) is lower than 2018’s 9.9% and the 5-year average of 9.7%. Both the Gulf Port protein average of 9.4% and East Coast average of 9.7% are below the respective 2018 and 5-year averages. The Composite average falling number of 288 seconds is significantly lower than 2018 and the 5-year average. The Gulf Port average of 289 seconds and the East Coast average of 283 seconds are both significantly below 2018 and the 5-year averages. Approximately 21% of samples had a falling number below 250 seconds in 2019, with 13% below 225. The Composite DON average of 1.3 ppm is above the 2018 average and close to the 5-year average of 1.2 ppm. The East Coast value of 0.5 ppm is below the 5-year average while the Gulf Port value of 1.5 ppm is above the 5-year average. Of the samples tested for DON, 33% of the Gulf Port results and 84% of the East Coast results were less than 1.0 ppm.
Flour and Baking Data. The Composite, East Coast and Gulf Port Buhler laboratory mill flour extraction averages are below 2018 and the 5-year averages. The farinograph peak and absorption values are similar to 5-year averages, but the stability values are all below the 5-year averages. The SRC values generally indicate good quality for cookies. The Composite, East Coast and Gulf Port alveograph L averages of 81 are lower than last year and the 5-year average, indicating lower extensibility. All other alveograph averages are similar to the respective 5-year averages given the variability of alveograph analysis. The Gulf amylograph average of 392 BU and East average of 462 indicate relatively high levels of amylase activity in the crop and are consistent with the low falling numbers.
The Composite, East Coast and Gulf Port cookie spread ratios are all higher than last year and the 5-year averages, indicating good extensibility. Average loaf volumes are all lower than last year and the 5-year averages.
USW will share complete data for all classes of U.S. wheat in future Wheat Letter posts and with hundreds of overseas customers at several upcoming events, including USW’s annual Crop Quality Seminars, and in its annual Crop Quality Report.