U.S. Wheat Associates released the 2021 Crop Quality Report Nov. 8. The Quality Report shares data for all six classes of wheat grown in the United States, and is used by buyers around the world in their purchasing decisions.
“This year has once again provided its share of uncertainty for wheat producers, handlers and buyers,” writes Vince Peterson, USW president. “We have seen challenges from drought, variable trade policies and the ongoing global pandemic. Through it all, the entire U.S. wheat industry remained fixed on providing the highest-quality wheat for almost every customer need, backed by transparent pricing, trusted third-party certification and unmatched service before and after the sale.”
Hard red winter
The 2021 U.S. hard red winter wheat crop sits at 20.4 million metric tons as of Sept. 30, according to the USDA. Kansas led production with 9.3 million metric tons, followed by Oklahoma with 3.1 million metric tons, according to the report.
The USDA Agricultural Research Service Hard Winter Wheat Quality Lab in Manhattan, Kan., and Plains Grains Inc., collected 522 samples from grain elevators in 40 reporting areas of the major HRW growing region, representing 99% of total HRW production in the nation.
According to the USW report, regional swings in temperature and drought led to high protein, lower yields and smaller kernels. The eastern areas of the Southern and Central Great Plains saw favorable growing conditions this year — which saw higher yields but lower protein. Meanwhile, drought and record freeze events in the western part of the Southern and Central Plains dropped yields, but increased protein. The composite average for protein was 11.9%, equal to 2020, but below the five-year average.
Overall, the crop offers good kernel characteristics for millers, with flour, dough and baking attributes equal to or better than last year, and many of the five-year averages for bakers.
“The loaf volumes achieved indicate there is sufficient protein quality to make bread that easily exceeds the U.S. quality target for loaf volume, with dough mix times and stabilities that are slightly greater than the five-year averages,” the report states. Those are quality characteristics that are highly valued by buyers around the globe.
To read more of the report, visit bit.ly/2021uswcrop.
U.S. Wheat Associates contributed to this story.