The wheat market received some bearish fundamental news this week from crop scouts participating in the annual U.S. Wheat Quality Council tour in Kansas.

The tour, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, is seen as an early season indicator of new crop U.S. wheat supplies and protein quality.

The average Kansas hard winter wheat yield was estimated on Thursday at 58.1 bushels per acre, the highest tour forecast going back to 2000. The estimate is also significantly higher than the five-year crop tour average of 43.1 bushels per acre, and the USDA’s most recent yield estimate for the state, at 48 bushels per acre.

“Tour participants saw wet fields along the routes, with water standing in many fields. This rain was welcomed relief and improved crop conditions significantly,” noted the Kansas Wheat Commission, in its tour recap.

Along with higher yields, the expectation is that protein levels will be lower than normal. The Kansas crop is sometimes viewed as a signal for more northern wheat growers, when it comes to protein premiums and decisions about top-dressing wheat to boost protein later in the growing season.

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