Wheat Tour Estimates Similar to USDA

Spring Wheat Tour Final Estimates: 49.1 Bpa for Spring Wheat, 39 Bpa for Durum

Matt Wilde
By  Matthew Wilde , Progressive Farmer Crops Editor
Crop Scouts on the 2022 Wheat Quality Council Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour assessed 304 fields over three days in North Dakota and Minnesota from July 26-28. (DTN photo by Matthew Wilde)

This article was originally posted at 4:41 p.m. CDT on Thursday, July 28. It was last updated with additional information at 11:29 a.m. CDT on Friday, July 29.


FARGO, N.D. (DTN) -- The Wheat Quality Council's 2022 Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour ended Thursday, July 28, in Fargo, North Dakota. After three days of scouting fields in the state and Minnesota, the total weighted average yield estimate for spring wheat is 49.1 bushels per acre (bpa), while durum finished at an estimated 39 bpa.

The yield projections for both crops were the second highest for the tour since 2008. In 2015, participants estimated spring wheat and durum at 49.9 and 39.2 bpa, respectively.

This year's tour yield estimate for spring wheat is higher than USDA's initial national projection of 47 bpa, released on July 12. For durum wheat, USDA's estimate is slightly higher than the tour number at 40.3 bpa.

Watch a video of Dave Green, Wheat Quality Council executive vice president, giving final yield estimates and analysis for the council's 2022 Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

About 50 tour participants, mostly from the wheat, milling and baking industries and USDA officials, assessed 267 spring wheat and 35 durum fields. Two hard winter wheat fields were also sampled. The vast majority of stops were made in North Dakota, the nation's largest producer of both crops.

Neal Fisher, North Dakota Wheat Commission executive director, said the tour provides domestic and foreign buyers an excellent "snapshot in time" of the production potential and quality of spring wheat and durum.

USDA currently projects North Dakota's spring wheat crop will average a record 51 bpa, with overall production pegged at 267.8 million bushels. Durum wheat is estimated at 40 bpa, with production at 40.6 million bushels.

"There's a lot of potential there (for a record-breaking crop) if we don't have an early frost or rain at harvest, and we can keep diseases like scab and grasshoppers at bay -- all the things that can reduce yield," Fisher said. "This exercise (tour yield estimates) are very beneficial for our farmers and end users every year."

He continued that tour information helps wheat buyers and producers with purchase and marketing plans. "We know our 80 or so export customers, flour mills and the baking industry welcomes (the information)," Fisher continued.

Brent Smith, a senior expert of supplier quality management with Nestle, concurs with Fisher's take on the tour. Nestle is one of the largest wheat users in the United States, using it for pizza dough for popular brands such as Jack's and Tombstone. It also goes into cookie dough and pasta for Stouffer's frozen meals.

By attending the tour, Smith was able to see for himself that diseases and pests have not significantly reduced yields or caused quality concerns to this point. And late planting of this year's spring wheat and durum crops hasn't curtailed yields either. However, harvest is still several weeks away in most areas, and the production outlook can change.

"The tour helps me understand future risks as far as (wheat) supply and food safety," Smith said. "I'm happy with the yield potential, and I thought the quality (of wheat in the field) was great."

Thursday, July 28, scouts traveled from Devils Lake to Fargo, North Dakota. Forty-four fields were checked in northeast North Dakota and several bordering Minnesota counties. The spring wheat weighted yield average was 53.1 bpa.

The 2022 overall spring wheat and durum yield projections were much better than last year. In 2021, spring wheat yields were projected at 37 bpa and durum at 24.3 bpa.

Matthew Wilde can be reached at matt.wilde@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @progressivwilde

Matt Wilde