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Spring Wheat Harvest Slightly Behind Average
North Dakota Ag Connection - 09/10/2020

Producers made fairly decent harvest progress last week with the U.S. spring wheat harvest now just over 80% complete. Harvest progress remains slightly behind average, but well ahead of last year when only two-thirds of the harvest was complete. Spring wheat harvest is nearing completion in South Dakota and Minnesota and is 84% complete in Montana and 76% complete in North Dakota. After fairly decent weather conditions for most of the harvest, conditions turned cooler at the beginning of the week with much of North Dakota seeing temperatures falling below freezing. Some temperatures fell as low as the low to mid-20 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time, producers weren't overly concerned about the freezing temperatures as the majority of the crop had already reached maturity, but isolated areas may see some minor issues. Length of harvest days is also becoming shorter, but temperatures do look to warm some towards the end of the week and into the weekend.

Producers continue to report few harvest related issues and minimal quality issues. Just about half of the crop quality samples have been analyzed at the NDSU wheat quality lab. Protein this week is averaging 14.6%, down from last week, but still above average. Test weights continue to be high with the average at 61.7 pounds per bushel (81.1 kg/hl). Total defects are averaging 1.2%, with both damaged kernels and shrunken and broken kernels lower than last year. Falling numbers remain high with the average being 385 seconds. The crop currently grades a No. 1 Northern Spring with average vitreous kernel content of 62%

Durum harvest in North Dakota passed the 70% mark according to the most recent USDA Crop Progress Report. Harvest pace this year is well ahead of last year when just 43% was harvested. Much of the durum that remains to be harvested is in the northwest and north central portions of the state. As mentioned earlier, weather conditions turned cooler at the beginning of this week with below freezing temperatures. Similar to spring wheat, this may cause some isolated issues with the later maturing crop. The crop progress report estimates that about 94% of the state's durum crop is mature. Producers continue to report variable yields and good quality.

Less than a third of the durum crop quality samples have been analyze at the NDSU durum lab and most of those samples are from southwest North Dakota and Montana. Quality analysis so far shows improved quality characteristics compared to 2019. Protein is averaging 14.1%, about half a point higher than last year and thousand kernel weight is averaging 47.6 grams compared to 44.3 last year. Falling numbers are high with the averaging being 417 seconds and test weights are averaging 62.1 pounds per bushel (80.9 kg/hl). Vitreous kernel content so far is 87%, with the crop grading a No. 1 Hard Amber Durum. These numbers will be updated weekly as more samples are analyzed.

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