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Spring Wheat Tour Day 1 Results
By Mary Kennedy
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 8:12PM CDT

This article was originally posted at 6:02 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 23. It was updated with additional information at 8:12 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 23.


MINNEAPOLIS (DTN) -- Day 1 of the Wheat Quality Council's Spring Wheat and Durum Tour concluded on Tuesday with a total weighted average yield estimate of 52.3 bushels per acre (bpa). Last year, the average weighted wheat yield estimate on Day 1 was 48.3 bpa.

Field sampling occurred from Fargo to Bismarck, North Dakota, along eight predetermined routes that are followed year after year. An exception this year is that the northernmost tier of counties in South Dakota is being sampled. There were 96 fields of spring wheat, one durum and two hard red winter wheat fields sampled Tuesday with the spring wheat average yield on its own at 52.5 bpa.

At the conclusion of the day's scouting, DTN asked Jim Peterson, policy and marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission, if scouts on any of the routes had seen any signs of scab disease.

"I would say there was a high frequency of scab in the eastern third of North Dakota in the fields that were sampled, but not a high severity," said Peterson. "Producers have applied fungicide, and there are scab-resistant varieties of spring wheat as well."

For reference, Fusarium head blight of wheat (FHB), also called head scab, occurs mainly during the flowering stage. Peterson said that it's not unusual to have an inconsistency of flowering in some fields. He said Wednesday's routes that go north may run into it, or not, depending on the timing of flowering and when fungicide was sprayed.

"There were higher incidents of scab this year due to all the rain, the fog, and high humidity," he said. For example, Harvey, North Dakota, just recorded an 81 dew point, a very unusual occurrence.

Peterson noted that harvest is approximately two to three weeks away and wonders if the smoke from Canada may affect it.

On Wednesday, July 24, the participants will assess wheat along routes from Bismarck to Devils Lake, North Dakota, before making their way back to Fargo on Thursday when the tour concludes. (You can follow the routes from the map posted on social platform X @MaryCKenn.)

On Monday, USDA noted in its weekly Crop Progress report that U.S. spring wheat conditions were 77% good to excellent, 18% fair, 4% poor and 1% very poor. Slightly higher ratings in North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana offset much lower ratings in Washington, Idaho and South Dakota. USDA said that as of July 21, 89% of the spring wheat crop was headed versus the five-year average of 90% at this time.

DTN will report daily on tour results and those stories can be found on http://www.dtnpf.com/… and on social platform X at @MaryCKenn and @dtnpf.

DTN Crops Editor Jason Jenkins contributed to this article.

Mary Kennedy can be reached at Mary.Kennedy@dtn.com

Follow her on social platform X @MaryCKenn

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