A record-cold Q1/2 and excessively wet conditions ever-since have decimated the quality of spring and durum wheat crops in the northern U.S. Plains and Canadian Prairies, reports Reuters.
Historic cold earlier in the year led to a very late planting season, and while that’s causing its own yield and quality concerns, it’s the persistent rains and waterlogging which are giving farmers the biggest headaches of late.
The wet conditions are severely hampering harvest efforts, and have even caused some mature, un-harvested wheat kernels to begin to sprout, severely damaging the quality.
Farmers in North Dakota, by far the largest U.S. spring wheat producer, were 73% harvested by Sept 15. Crops still standing due to the weather delays –some 86 million bushels– will likely have the poorest quality.
“It’s really bad news,” said Joel Ransom, an agronomist with North Dakota State University in Fargo.
While just north of the border, in Canada, the wheat harvest is even-less advanced.
Farmers had gathered just 13% of Saskatchewan’s spring wheat crop as of Monday, Sept 16. Harvest progress for all crops in the province totaled a paltry 23%, which is less than half the five-year average pace of 50%.
The top grades of U.S. and Canadian spring and durum wheat “just are not going to be available in the same volumes,” said Chuck Penner, analyst at Winnipeg-based LeftField Commodity Research.
And Jonathan Lane, head of ADM Agriculture’s grain trading, added that “weather concerns are still apparent in the southern hemisphere,” too.
Wheat futures were on the march north this week, and as the harvest data continues rolling in, and the numbers continue falling short of what are very unrealistic market expectations, we should look for commodity prices to skyrocket in the coming months.
Stay tuned for updates.
Grow your own.
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