Spring Wheat Tour: Day 1

Spring Wheat Tour Ends First Day With 43.1 BPA Estimate

Scouts Hannah Pinter and Bart Bender comb through spring wheat country on the first day of the Wheat Quality Council's Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour. (DTN photo by Charles Wallace)

MANDAN, N.D. (DTN) -- The first day of the 2019 Wheat Quality Council Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour concluded today in Mandan, North Dakota after departing from Fargo, North Dakota. Scouts will conduct their tour from July 23-25.

Overall, the tour did 155 stops with a calculated average yield of 43.1 bushels per acre of spring wheat and two stops in durum wheat fields with an average yield of 38.9 bpa. The 2018 tour estimated the average yield for Day 1 was 38.9 bpa, but included measurements from South Dakota.

This year's tour began with groups going to southeastern Minnesota, southeastern/central North Dakota and parts of western North Dakota. The tour this year did not go to South Dakota since many fields did not get planted due to rain. The crop tour gives industry professionals working in mills, international markets, government institutions and media a chance to check the quality of the 2019 spring wheat and durum crop firsthand.

Tuesday on the green route, Bart Bender of Ardent Mills drove through southwestern Minnesota and west through southern North Dakota to southcentral North Dakota. The route saw variable conditions with the eastern portion still having slightly wet fields and showing some signs of Fusarium and rust. Bender's route took 11 spring wheat samples with estimated yields ranging from 21 to 48 bpa. Crop conditions improved as the tour moved west.

Bender noticed that where normally there would be wheat fields on previous tours, they were empty.

Several groups reported that many fields were not planted due to weather. Overall, the groups observed minor bouts of Fusarium, bacterial leaf streak and aphid. Some hail damage was found.

The Wheat Quality Council organizers are comparing the 2019 late planting to the 2013-14 crop year when a long winter caused most of the spring wheat to be planted into late June and harvested in September. The groups are predicting that 2019 will be not too far from the same range for harvest.

The USDA-NASS Crop Progress Report called the North Dakota spring wheat crop 76% good to excellent as of July 21. The 2019 tour has 62 crop scouts. Day 2 of the tour will cover areas of northwest and northern North Dakota.

Freelancer Charles Wallace is following the 2019 tour for DTN. Follow him on Twitter @agcommcharlie or @dtnpf