With preliminary data in, quality traits of the 2010 Kansas wheat crop were a pleasant surprise, according to the annual Wheat Quality Report released Sept. 2 by the Kansas Agriculture Statistics.
This year’s crop featured an average test weight of 61.4 pounds per bushel and protein of 12.0%, both of which exceed the 2009 averages of 61.0 pounds and 11.6%, respectively. The 10-year test-weight average is 60.3 pounds per bushel, and protein, 12.3%. Moisture content of the 2010 crop averaged 11.2%, the same as last year and down from the 10-year average of 11.5%.
“The excellent test weight and higher protein in the 2010 Kansas Hard Red Winter wheat crop reflects the good management practices of Kansas wheat farmers,” says Aaron Harries, marketing director for Kansas Wheat.
Wheat samples graded at No. 1 were at 89%; down from 90% last year. Wheat grading No. 2 averaged 10%, compared to 9% in 2009.
“This year demonstrated just how consistent the Kansas wheat crop is,” says Mark Fowler, associate director of the International Grains Program at Kansas State University and milling specialist. “We had above average test weight across the state and a very sound, high quality year with no real areas of concern.”
Southwest Kansas wheat producers had the highest overall protein average, at 12.5%, while southeast Kansas produced 12.4% protein. Leading the state in test weight and highest grade overall was west central Kansas with 62.2 pounds per bushel.
The Kansas crop’s excellent quality attributes are a positive selling point, given a volatile world wheat supply situation. Drought and wildfires in Russia forced that country to postpone wheat exports, requiring many wheat importing countries to look elsewhere for wheat. The U.S. is a logical choice to meet that demand, Harries adds.
“This high-quality, milling wheat reinforces the demand from our international customers who have come to rely on a consistent, quality product from the U.S,” he explains. “When wheat supplies becoming tight, our buyers know that the U.S. wheat market is open to everyone.”
In comparison to surrounding states, the 2010 Kansas crop fared well. In Texas, test weights averaged 61.5 pounds per bushel and protein averaged 12%.Test weight average in Oklahoma was 60.9 pounds per bushel and protein was 11.8%. In Colorado, test weight average was 60.7 pounds per bushel and protein, 11.2%. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s test weight average was 60.7 pounds per bushel and protein, 11.7%. The 2010 wheat quality release is funded by the Kansas Wheat Commission. The full report is available online at http://www.ksda.gov/statistics/.