U.S. spring wheat in North and South Dakota was getting high marks after the first day of a tour through fields there, with scouts forecasting good yields from a largely disease-free crop.
Readings taken from fields in northern South Dakota and the southern third of North Dakota on Tuesday produced an average yield estimate for those areas of 48.3 bushels per acre, which tour official Ben Handcock said was the biggest first-day yield estimate since 2007.
"It is not in the bin yet, but it sure looks good," Handcock told Farm Futures by telephone on Wednesday. "There is not a lot of disease."
As of July 1, USDA estimated North Dakota, the largest spring wheat producer, would harvest 5.8 million acres, with an average yield of 46 bpa for a harvest of 266.8 million bushels; compared with 2013's 5.06 million acres, 46.5 bpa, and 235.29 million bushels.
Handcock was particularly surprised at the good condition of the South Dakota crop, which he said may be one of its best.
USDA forecast South Dakota to harvest 1.27 million acres, with an average yield of 43 bpa, for a production of 54.6 million bushels; compared with 2013's 1.165 million acres, 44 yield, and 51.26 million bushels.
The tour moves into central and northern North Dakota on Wednesday and will conclude Thursday afternoon in Fargo.
Wet fields delayed spring wheat planting in April and May, but Handcock said so far there was no evidence that had hurt the crop. Wheat planted in late April and early May was starting to turn color.
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