The spring wheat and durum harvests are being slowed by rain, and that is punishing a significant amount of grain still left in the field with instances of sooty mold and sprouting grain.
About 85 percent of North Dakota’s spring wheat and 73 percent of its durum crop are in, while, in Montana, 80 percent of spring wheat and just 51 percent of durum are in.
Harvest averages are more usually in the 90 percent range for this time of year for both crops in both states, leaving a significant amount of wheat in jeopardy of not being harvested at all.
The grain that has been harvested so far appears to be in good shape. NDSU’s wheat quality lab has about 70 percent of its usual spring wheat samples, and the grade for them so far is No. 1 Northern Spring. Protein is stable at 14.6 percent, test weight averages are 60.3 pounds per bushel and thousand kernel weights are higher than last year at 34.1 grams.
But vitreous kernel content is 65 percent — a side effect of wet weather. Damage is slightly higher than last year, at .4 percent.
Falling numbers have clocked in noticeably lower this year than last. While many producers had strong yields and good quality wheat, a larger percentage than usual report falling numbers below 300. Some report 200 and lower.
For durum, NDSU has collected less than half the usual samples, and very few of the samples they do have are from northwestern North Dakota. The harvest pace in the region has been especially slow, with some reporting harvest completion of 50 percent or less.
Durum protein is half a point lower than last year, at 13.7 percent, according to NDSU analysis. Test weights are averaging 60.7 pounds per bushel. Falling numbers are lower than last year, at 364 seconds.
Color has been adversely affected by wet weather conditions. The vitreous kernel content is so far at 63 percent. Damage is higher than last year, at .4 percent.
More wet weather is ahead in the forecast, along with potential freezing temperatures. The likelihood is that wheat not already harvested by now may not be harvested at all, due to inaccessible fields and severe quality issues.
Winter wheat, meanwhile, is 96 percent harvested in Montana, ahead of last year’s 95 percent, and close to the five-year average of 99 percent.
For planted winter wheat, progress is at 15 percent complete in Montana. That is ahead of last year’s 7 percent, but behind the five-year average 32 percent. North Dakota is ahead of Montana with planted wheat at 31 percent — but behind last year’s 52 percent and the 51 percent average.
Here’s a look at how other crops in the MonDak are faring:
North Dakota soybeans are rated 61 percent good to excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves are at 67 percent, which is well behind 90 percent last year, and behind the 83 percent five-year average. Just 1 percent of the crop has been harvested, behind 19 percent last year, and the 10 percent average.
Corn is 71 percent good to excellent. Corn dough is 97 percent, near the five-year 99 percent average. Dented was 59 percent, well behind the 89 percent average. Mature is 5 percent, well behind last year’s 62 percent and the five-year average, 37 percent.
Corn harvested for silage in Montana is at 40 percent, which is nearing last year’s 50 percent and the five-year average, 55 percent.
North Dakota canola, meanwhile, is at 61 percent, well behind the 90 percent average. Montana canola is a little further along, at 70 percent harvested, but still behind the 87 percent average.
Sugarbeet conditions are 89 percent good to excellent in North Dakota. Harvest is at 13 percent, slightly ahead of the 11 percent average.
In Montana, sugarbeets are 63 percent good to excellent. That is significantly less than the five-year average for condition, 85 percent good to excellent. No harvest stats were given.
North Dakota barley is 94 percent harvested, close to the average 97 percent. But barley in Montana is still behind, at 85 percent harvested. The average is 97 percent.
Dry edible peas in North Dakota are at 96 percent harvested. In Montana, they are 94 percent in, ahead of last year’s 92 percent — but represents little progress compared to last week’s 92 percent. Wet conditions were the problem.
Dry edible beans, meanwhile, are 28 percent harvested in North Dakota, which is well behind 84 percent last year and the 59 percent average. Quality is rated 57 percent good to excellent. In Montana, dry edible beans are at 76 percent harvested, approaching the five-year average 84 percent.
Lentils in North Dakota are at 69 percent harvested, well behind last year’s 97 percent, and behind the five-year average 88 percent. Montana, lentils, meanwhile are 93 percent harvested, which is ahead of last year’s 90 percent.
North Dakota sunflowers are a bright spot with 81 percent good to excellent. Ray flowers dry are at 88 percent, behind 96 percent last year, and bracts turned yellow are 66 percent, approaching the average 74 percent. Bracts turned brown are at 20 percent, though — well behind 55 percent last year.
Montana safflower is 25 percent harvested, approaching the average 33 percent. Ninety-one percent are turning color, which is close to last year’s 92 percent. The quality is rated 68 percent good to excellent.
North Dakota flaxseed is 55 percent harvested, well behind the average 82 percent. Condition is rated 76 percent good to excellent.
In Montana, 35 percent of flaxseed is harvested, behind last year’s 74 percent. The quality is 43 percent good to excellent.