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Spring wheat sees protein, weather premium

Drought, and the need for high protein baking flour might result in changing planting plans for the 2018 crop, according to a Midwest market analyst.

“Right now, with the shift in attitude about wheat and the possibility – and realistic possibility – that stronger markets are going to stay with us, it says we’re going to see people probably plant more wheat again this coming year,” said Dale Durchholz, market analyst at AgriVisor in Illinois.

Spring wheat brushed $8.00 per bushel Monday, when just a couple of months ago it was about $5.25.

“We’re getting off the bottom of the market,” said Durchholz, “but we’re by no stretch, here at $8.00, what I’d call extraordinarily high yet either.”

Durchholz says the lack of rain in the spring wheat growing area of the Dakotas, Montana and Minnesota is putting a pinch on supplies of the higher protein wheat.

“Cutting back that amount of production of high-protein wheat really puts a scramble on to get those supplies secured,” he said.

Durchholz confirmed reports that some growers are abandoning some spring wheat acres for grain and baling it to get some feed value out of the crop before it’s destroyed by drought.  He says last week’s report may have been too early to reflect growers’ decisions to salvage the crop for forage.

“I think we will see that reflected on the production report we get on the 12th of July because of when that survey is taken, about another three weeks later,” said Durchholz.

Last week’s USDA crop reports indicated barely 10 percent of the South Dakota spring wheat crop was in good to excellent condition.  More than 60 percent of the crop was poor to very poor.

AUDIO: Dale Durchholz (8 min. MP3)

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