The summer harvest saw combines yield some outstanding test weights, according to U.S. Wheat Associates. Tests weights over 62 lbs./bu. were seen across the hard red winter (HRW) belt, which had just a few fields still being harvested near the Canadian border. The soft red winter (SRW) harvest ended about Aug 1, with test weights in the 57-lb. range. The Pacific Northwest soft white harvest was on a similar pace as last year, with test weights at about 60 lbs.

The All Aboard 2009 Wheat Harvest Tour sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection provided a hands-on, field-by-field look at the life of a custom harvest crew from deep on the heart of Texas to the northern Great Plains. The daily blog provided interesting insights into life on the harvest tour. (To view the regular Twitter reports on the tour go to twitter.com/allaboard2009.)

DuPont Crop Protection is again sponsoring eWheat this fall.

Harvest breakdown
Harvest concluded for all HRW-producing states in late August except Montana, which was over 60% complete, says U.S. Wheat Associates. Sample testing indicates test-weight averages over 62 lbs., protein about 12%, dockage at 0.3%, shrunken and broken at 0.8% and moisture just over 11.5%.

The HRW crop as a whole has shown outstanding test weights and thousand kernel weights. While protein has been variable in some areas, the overall average still remains close to 12%. Dockage averaging just over 0.5% has been a positive aspect of this harvest. The grade factors average Grade No. 1.

SRW
The SRW harvest showed samples with average protein of 10.2%, 57.8-lb. test weight, 2.3% damage and falling number value of 321. U.S. Wheat says that compared to 2008 ratings of 9.8.% protein, 59.7-lb. test weight, 0.8% damage and a 332 falling number value.

U.S. Wheat says commercial mills have indicated little or no problems as they transition to the new crop. End-use customers have not reported any problems although, depending on the sourcing area, formulation changes may be needed to correct to the higher falling number values this year compared to last year.

Soft white
The Pacific Northwest soft white harvest for all three states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington is at a pace similar to the same time last year, says U.S. Wheat. In late August harvest was at about 37% from east-central and eastern Washington, 31% from north-central and northeastern Oregon, 15% from northern Idaho and 11% from southern Idaho. Test weight was at 60 lbs., moisture content 9%, protein 10.3% and falling number value stayed similar at 320 seconds.

Last week’s USDA Crop Progress report showed spring wheat harvest at 23% complete, says Mark Welch, Texas AgriLife Extension economist. “The condition ratings of the spring wheat crop are still strong with 72% rated as good and excellent compared to 55% with these ratings last year. North Dakota’s spring wheat crop is rated as 88% good and excellent. These are the best harvesttime crop condition ratings for U.S. spring wheat in five years.

U.S. Wheat says there wasn’t a large enough sample to provide hard spring wheat projections. View some samples.