Wet weather is raising quality concerns for wheat and pulse crops in scattered areas of the region, depending on how mature the crop was at the time, and how much rain fell.
The harvest of hard red spring wheat did accelerate somewhat for the week of Aug. 18 to Aug. 25, according to the latest figures from the USDA’s weekly crop progress report, but weekend rain slowed some producers down.
Thirty-eight percent of the nation’s crop has so far been harvested, well behind the average pace of 65 percent. By comparison, North Dakota and Montana have reached 34 percent for their harvest. The latter state had its slowest progress yet, with just 14 percent more harvested.
Weather forecasts, meanwhile, are predicting colder temperatures will move in for Labor Day, along with the potential for more thunderstorms, likely developing in the afternoon. That could lead to more delays and quality issues for some, depending on how much rain falls on crops not yet harvested.
Crop ratings for spring wheat fell slightly from last week, to 69 percent good to excellent in North Dakota. Montana, meanwhile, fell to 67 percent at that grade.
The durum harvest also continues to be well behind schedule, due to slow maturity and less than ideal harvest weather.
North Dakota’s durum harvest is 24 percent — up 7 percent from last week — but behind last year’s 49 percent. In Montana, just 20 percent has been harvested, behind the five-year average of 47 percent.
Crop condition is 62 percent good to excellent in North Dakota and 71 percent in Montana. That’s a slight downgrade for both states from last week. North Dakota’s fell the most, by 10 percent, while Montana’s fell 8 percent.
North Dakota’s winter wheat harvest is 77 percent complete, approaching but still behind the five-year average of 83 percent at this time. Montana’s is 80 percent, also nearing the five-year average of 95 percent.
North Dakota soybeans are rated 62 percent good to excellent. Beans setting pods are 89 percent, approaching the five-year average of 96 percent, while dropping leaves is 3 percent, well behind the 14 percent average.
Corn in North Dakota is 73 percent good to excellent. Corn silking is about average at 98 percent. Dough, however, is 47 percent, well behind the 75 percent average. Dented is 5 percent, also well behind the 25 percent average. Montana has harvested 1 percent of its corn for silage. Just behind the average 3 percent.
North Dakota Canola is rated 64 percent good to excellent. Harvest is at 11 percent, well behind the 34 percent average. In Montana, canola harvested is at 15 percent, behind the five-year average of 55 percent.
North Dakota barley is 76 percent good to average, with 46 percent harvested — well behind the 75 percent average. In Montana, barley is 51 percent harvested, behind last year’s 65 percent.
North Dakota dry edible peas are 77 percent good to excellent, with harvest at 75 percent. That’s approaching the 5-year average of 80 percent. In Montana, the harvest is at 74 percent, behind the five-year average of 89 percent.
Dry edible beans in North Dakota, meanwhile, are 51 percent good to excellent. Setting pods is at 98 percent. Dropping leaves is at 39 percent, approaching the five-year 47 percent average. In Montana, 21 percent have been harvested, well behind the five-year average 57 percent.
The North Dakota and Montana lentil harvests are well behind schedule thanks in part to wet conditions. In North Dakota, harvest is at 16 percent compared to last year’s 45 percent. In Montana, harvest is 55 percent, behind last year’s 74 percent.
Sunflowers look good in North Dakota, with 81 percent rated good to excellent. Blooming is at 94 percent. Rayflowers dried is at 19 percent, which is behind the five-year average of 40 percent. Bracts turned yellow is 1 percent, behind 30 percent at this time last year.
North Dakota flaxseed is 74 percent good to excellent. Harvest is at 6 percent, behind the five-year average of 27 percent.
Montana safflower is 90 percent in bloom, with 47 percent turning color. The latter is behind the five-year average of 56 percent.