KWC says 2002 wheat quality is above average and even excellent

Kansas Wheat Commission teams up with Kansas Agricultural Statistics and Kansas Grain Inspection Service this time of year to get the latest wheat-grade information to buyers in the U.S. and around the world.

Although wheat yields in drought-stricken Western Kansas have been disappointing and in some instances tragic, the quality of the wheat coming in from the fields this year, in general, is above average and even excellent in other important measurements.

Based on the data from 2,600 rail-car samples in 47 Kansas counties, the wheat moving in commercial channels after harvest is surprisingly heavy.

A bushel container of the average Kansas Hard Red Winter wheat this summer weighs 60.3 pounds compared with the 10-year average of 60.0 pounds. Sixty pounds is the official standard for the grade No. 1 Hard Red Winter wheat.

“Dockage,” easily removed non-wheat material, is only 0.5 percent this year, compared to 0.8 percent last year.

The Kansas wheat crop is also impressively protein laden. It is said that stress makes protein, and certainly this year’s wheat crop was under moisture stress since last fall. Average protein level is 12.7 percent statewide, with the north central and southwest areas at 13.1 percent protein; the state was led by the northwest area’s average of 13.4 percent protein.

It should not surprise anyone that this year’s moisture levels are below the 10-year average. Kansas wheat is running 11.4 percent moisture compared to 11.8 percent on a 10-year basis.

While both numbers are low, and dry wheat stores better, 11.4 percent moisture is a great bargain for buyers. It means the buyer gets an average of 0.4 percent less water than average and that much more wheat on a dry-matter basis.

It is another selling point for this year’s Kansas wheat crop.

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