Continued, wet weather the past week has all but halted the wheat harvest in northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana, which still have an estimated 11 to 16 percent of spring wheat left out in the field, respectively.
Nationally, 90 percent of the grain is harvested, according to the latest USDA crop progress report. Most of the unharvested acres are in Montana and North Dakota.
Harvest in the MonDak in particular has been delayed by above average rainfall.
For durum, even less of the crop is in for Montana and North Dakota. The USDA’s latest crop report estimates just 78 percent of North Dakota and 45 percent of Montana durum are in.
Much of the grain left out in the field is unlikely to be harvested. Anything that is harvested will likely face substantial quality issues.
NDSU, meanwhile, has completed its sample collection for spring wheat. That data will be released toward the end of October.
Protein and test weights are good on average, according to their analysis, but there are significant quality issues, including falling numbers and adverse color.
There is wide variability in crop quality, also, with some areas in very good shape, and others very rough, and likely to see significant discounts.
Of particular difficulty in the MonDak are falling numbers. These in general, cannot be successfully evened out by blending.
Discounts for falling numbers can be quite significant. A $5 bushel of wheat becomes $2.50. Farmers were already facing an automatic 40-cent discount due to rain at area elevators.
NDSU has collected about half the usual number of samples for its durum analysis. Only 13 percent of those samples came from northwestern North Dakota — the state’s largest durum region.
Color has been the main adverse factor so far. The crop has averaged just 60 vitreous kernel content so far.
North Dakota winter wheat, meanwhile, is at 47 percent planted, well behind 73 percent last year and the 72 average. Emerged is 13 percent, well behind 36 last year and behind the 27 average.
In Montana, winter wheat planted is 40 percent, which is ahead of last year’s 31 percent, but behind the average 56 percent. Emerged is 1 percent.
Here’s a look at how other crops in the MonDak have fared:
North Dakota corn is rated 69 percent good to excellent. Mature is 15 percent, well behind 82 last year and 57 average. In Montana, corn harvested for silage is at 47 percent, behind the five-year average 76 percent.
Canola in North Dakota is 67 percent harvested, well behind 94 last year and the 95 average. In Montana, 78 percent of the Canola is in, behind last year’s 91 percent.
North Dakota sugar beets are 89 percent good to excellent. Harvest is 18 percent, behind last years 19 percent and the 20 average. In Montana, just 1 percent of sugar beets have been harvested. That’s behind last year’s 14 percent.
Sunflowers in North Dakota are 74 percent good to excellent. Ray flowers dry are 95 percent. Bracts turned yellow are 74 percent, well behind 94 last year and behind the 87 average. Bracts turned brown are 36 percent, well behind 72 last year and the 60 average.
Montana safflower is 35 percent harvested, behind last year’s 47 percent and the average 45.
North Dakota flaxseed is 60 percent harvested, well behind 93 last year and the 89 average. In Montana, flax is further behind, with just 38 percent harvested, well behind last years 78 percent.
Dry edible beans in North Dakota are rated 56 percent good to excellent. Harvest is at 39 percent, well behind 90 last year and the 72 average. In Montana, the harvest is at 85 percent, close to last year’s 88 percent.
Dry edible peas in Montana, meanwhile are 96 percent harvested, which is 2 percent more than last week.
North Dakota lentils are at 73 percent harvested. Montana lentils are at 95 percent, which is 2 percent more than last week.
Barley in Montana is at 97 percent harvest, near 100 last year and the 99 average.