The overall quality of the 2013 Kansas wheat crop was high, according the annual Wheat Quality report released by USDA National Ag Statistics Service and the Kansas Grain Inspection Service.
The crop averaged 60.9 pounds per bushel, almost right on the 10-year average but down slightly from last year's crop, which averaged 61.1 pounds.
Protein content, which is closely watched by millers and bakers both domestically and abroad averaged 12.2 percent, down from the 12.4 percent 10-year average. The western crop reporting districts led the state in protein content, with all three districts at or above last year and long term averages. Conversely, the central and east regions, where the wheat crop was less heat and drought stressed had protein levels below 10-year averages. Statewide, moisture content averaged 10.9 percent, down from the 11.1 percent last year and from 11.3 percent for the 10-year average.
Comparisons to 2012, 10-year average
Samples of wheat grading No. 1, at 85 percent, were up 2 points from 83 percent last year. Fourteen percent graded No. 2, compared to 16 percent in 2012, and for the second year in a row, only 1 percent graded No. 3 or below. Wheat samples averaged 0.2 percent damaged kernels, same as 2012 but down from 0.4 for the 10-year average. Samples tested had less than 0.1 percent foreign material on average, the same as 2012 but below the 10-year average. Shrunken and broken kernels averaged 1.4 percent, unchanged from 2012 but slightly higher than the 10-year average of 1.2. Average dockage for all samples was 0.6 percent, up slightly from last year.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat commented that the report shows that producing quality wheat continues to be something Kansas farmers are good at, and that quality continues to be an effective marketing tool in international markets.
"Each year as we host international buyers on trade teams, and as U.S. Wheat Associates works with buyers abroad, we are able to consistently provide higher quality wheat that meets customers' demands," said Gilpin. "Although we are early in 2013/2014 crop marketing year, so far U.S. grown hard red winter is competing very well in exports, posting strong sales year-to-date."
The report, a copy of which is available at the Kansas Wheat website, is based on 16,143 car-lot samples from 51 counties.
This data tracks very closely with samples collected by Plains Grains Inc, a private, non-profit wheat marketing organization that focuses on collecting and communicating information about yearly crop quality to the entire wheat value chain.
A significant increase in baking quality
Plains Grains Executive Director, Mark Hodges noted that although there was a lot of variability in this year's crop one area that is a real highlight is baking quality.
"Comparing this year's data with last year's, we are seeing a significant increase in key baking measures such as loaf volume," said Hodges.
Additional milling and baking quality information will be available in mid-October when Plains Grains is expected to release their analysis and data for the entire hard red winter wheat crop in the 2013 Crop Quality publication.
Plains Grains maintains an interactive mapping tool allowing users to view crop details such as protein content, moisture level, dockage percent, test weight and thousand kernel weight all by detailed grain-shed areas. The interactive maps and final quality report can be viewed at the Plains Grains website.