Harvesting in the US is well underway for winter wheat, with the USDA reporting that harvest progress is ahead of last year’s pace and the previous 5-year average.

According to Brenda Mullan, of the HGCA Market Specialists team recent weather conditions in the US have supported crop development and harvest progression. Hot weather, accompanied with widely scattered showers, has helped to advance winter wheat development on the northern Plains and aided crop progress throughout Central US. So far in the US, the main crops that have been ready to harvest are winter wheat and oats.

Mullan said by 3 August, 90% of the winter wheat crop had been harvested across 18 US states (which harvested 86% of the 2013 winter wheat acreage). Harvest progress is currently ahead of last year’s pace (86%) and the previous 5-year average (85%), and progressed by 7 percentage points (pp) throughout the week to 3 August. During the past week, noteworthy advances were made in Montana, Oregon and South Dakota, with harvest advancing by 33pp, 32pp and 28pp in these states respectively.

She also noted that winter wheat harvesting has been completed in the southern states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas; while in the northern states of Idaho, Montana and South Dakota, harvesting is still in its early to mid-stages.

According to US Wheat Associates, as harvest progresses northwards, yields ranging from 3.4-5.0t/ha for hard red winter wheat are double those reported in the southern and central Great Plains; a result of favourable growing conditions in this region. Moisture and protein levels are also above the levels reported last year for the samples tested so far.