2013 Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop Has Good Protein and Functionality

Hard Red Winter Wheat


(U.S. Wheat Associates) – The USDA Agricultural Research Service Hard Winter Wheat Quality Lab and Plains Grains, Inc. collected and analyzed 534 samples from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Idaho and Oregon, representing about 80 percent of U.S. HRW production.

Despite generally dry growing conditions and kernel characteristics slightly below average, the 2013 HRW crop has unusually high protein content and very good processing characteristics. Water absorption and loaf volumes are very good and significantly exceed long-term averages.

Wheat and Grade Data. The overall average grade was US No. 2 HRW, down from last year and the five-year average of No. 1 HRW because average test weight was 59.9 lb/bu (78.8 kg/hl). Forty-nine percent of the samples graded US No. 1 HRW. Nearly all the overall average wheat characteristics reflected the adverse weather conditions. Test weight and thousand kernel weight were well below the 2012 and five-year averages. Dockage of 0.6% was slightly above the 2012 and five-year average of 0.5%, while total defects of 2.0% was significantly above last year’s 1.4% and the five-year average of 1.5%. Both Gulf and PNW samples showed similar changes in kernel characteristics from last year and the five-year averages. The average protein of 13.4% was almost a full percentage point above the 2012 average of 12.6% and more than a full point above the
five-year average of 12.2%. For both Gulf and PNW samples approximately 15% are in the less than 11.5% protein category, 25% in the 11.5% to 12.5% category and 60% in the greater than 12.5% category. Average falling number of 421 seconds indicates sound wheat.

Flour and Baking Data. The laboratory mill flour yield averaged 76.1%, above the 2012 average of 75.2%, but with higher flour ash content. The yield is significantly above the five-year average, a difference mostly attributable to use of a new tandem Buhler Experimental Mill. Wheat to flour protein loss averaged 1.1%, below the five-year average of 1.3%. Overall average farinograph peak time and stability were slightly above the 2012 and five-year averages, and water absorption of 59.8% was higher than the 2012 average of 58.9% and significantly above the five-year average of 57.9%. The alveograph W value of 250 (10-4 J) is comparable to 2012 and five-year averages. Overall loaf volume averages 860 cc, significantly higher than the 2012 and five-year averages. The flour and baking data indicate there is protein quantity and quality in the 2013 HRW crop.