The 2017 HRW wheat crop was very similar to last year’s crop in many ways.
Generally, both crops were planted and developed in a favorable environment until late in the growing season. The 2016 and 2017 HRW wheat crops had abundant moisture and no stress during the grainfill period (with the exceptions noted above in areas of the PNW, Dakotas and eastern Montana).
The result in 2016 were record wheat yields and a crop that depleted most soil profile nitrogen (N) reserves and no market signals were in place to entice producers to supply additional fertilizer in 2017. The wheat crop in both years exhibited a “protein dilution” effect resulting in lower quantities of protein in the wheat and flour (increases in nitrogen is recognized as enhancing grain protein concentration).
Both crop years exhibited very good kernel characteristics from a milling standpoint, but with generally low protein. However, testing would also indicate that even though mix times and tolerances are shorter than the five-year averages, the loaf volumes achieved indicate there is adequate protein quality to make good quality bread.
This crop meets or exceeds typical HRW contract specifications and provides high value to the customer.
Find out more about wheat quality from Plains Grains Inc.