ND 2013 Hard Red Spring and Durum Quality Provides Opportunity For Buyers
Date Posted: October 31, 2013
The 2013 U.S. hard red spring wheat crop achieved record yields despite a delayed planting season and reduced planted area.
Growing season conditions were excellent.
The overall crop is slightly smaller than 2012 due to sharp cuts in intended plantings.
Grade and quality features are high with an average grade of #1 Northern Spring, with ninety-four percent of the crop making the #1 grade.
The crop slipped to an average of Northern Spring subclass due to lower vitreous kernel counts.
The strong features of the 2013 U.S. HRS crop are a high grade profile with very large kernel size and well above average kernel weights, near zero damaged kernels, and very uniform kernel quality and functional performance across the region.
Due to record yields and a generally cool growing season protein levels are below normal in much of the 2013 crop.
As a result, functional quality is showing generally weaker dough strength in most regions, especially compared to 2012, but the crop has improved bake absorption.
Although higher protein segments of the crop will be priced at a premium and higher vitreous kernel specifications may also prove challenging, the 2013 crop affords buyers a good value opportunity.
A challenging planting season decreased durum planted acres by one-third from 2012, but an excellent growing season supported strong yields.
The Northern U.S. durum crop averages a #1 Hard Amber Durum (HAD) with eighty percent of the crop achieving a grade of #1 HAD.
There is a more extreme distribution of quality in 2013 due to harvest rains. Much of the crop falls below a #3 grade or Amber Durum, with some of the latest harvest not in the analysis.
The 2013 crop has high test weights and large kernels, but is below average for protein and vitreous kernels.
Key end-use quality factors are below the 5-year average based on a cumulative value of the crop.
Buyers will find that in addition to higher average kernel weight, a significant portion also remains above average for factors such as protein, falling number and vitreous kernel content.
Capturing this wider quality segment of the crop will require price premiums and more direct communication with sellers, ensuring buyers the opportunity to receive the quality they need.
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