U.S. Wheat Associates on Sept. 16, in its weekly harvest report, indicated on the basis of 467 of 472 intended samples, the quality of the hard red winter wheat crop was excellent with an average grade of No. 1 hard red winter. The average protein of this year’s crop was 12.4%, higher than the 2010 average at 11.8%. This year’s average protein was similar to that of the 2008 crop at 12.3% and was the highest since 2006, when the crop average protein was an unusually high 13.7%.

The hard red winter wheat average test weight was a strong 60.7 lbs per bu, which was down slightly from 61 lbs per bu in 2010. Average thousand kernel weight of the samples was 29.8 grams, similar to last year’s average at 29.9 grams. U.S. Wheat commented, “Dockage remains low (0.5%) in the 2011 hard red winter crop, while test weight and thousand kernel weight are high when considering the adverse growing conditions experienced in many areas.”

Average falling number of the hard red winter wheat crop at 402 seconds was similar to last year’s 401 seconds.

U.S. Wheat’s final soft red winter wheat report was issued on Aug. 5 and indicated an average grade based on 377 samples of No. 2 soft red winter, the same as in 2010.

U.S. Wheat said of the soft red winter crop, “Compared with 2010, data for all areas sampled show equivalent wheat protein, flour ash, bake volume and cookie spread value. The samples had a slight increase in laboratory milling yield and a very slight increase in farinograph absorption. The samples from the East Coast (Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland) had a decrease of 0.5% in wheat protein and very similar results for flour ash and bread volume. The cookie spread value increased slightly, and there was a 2% increase in milling yield. The Gulf exportable states had equivalent wheat protein content, flour ash and bread volume to last year. Milling yield and farinograph absorption increased just slightly, and cookie spread value declined slightly this year.”

U.S. Wheat indicated on the basis of 330 of 454 intended samples, 2011 hard red spring wheat was averaging a relatively high 15% in protein compared with 13.9% last year. Test weight was averaging 59.8 lbs per bu compared with 61.5 lbs in 2010, and thousand kernel weight was averaging 26.3 grams compared with 31.9 grams last year. The average dark, hard, vitreous value was 74%, which was similar to the five-year average. The average falling number was 385 seconds compared with 396 seconds in 2010. The average grade was No. 1 northern spring, the same as in 2010.

U.S. Wheat indicated the average grade for soft white winter wheat this year was No. 1 compared with a lower grade of No. 2 last year. On the basis of 362 samples, soft white wheat averaged 9.1% in protein compared with 9.7% in 2010, 60.9 lbs in test weight versus 59.6 lbs a year ago, and 36.1 grams in thousand kernel weight compared with 34.5 grams in 2010. Falling number averaged 307 seconds compared with 338 seconds in 2010.