2012 HRW Wheat yields were wide ranging across the production area, but most producers were happy with the final production numbers considering the extremes of 2011 which carried into (and expanded) in 2012. The most notable feature during the growing season was timely moisture events until early spring that allowed average to above average yields.
Abnormally warm conditions and the timely moisture over the winter coupled with the lack of adequate precipitation in the spring pushed heading and harvest dates forward from Texas to Montana some 10 days to 14 days on the average. Many areas were completed with harvest before their normal starting date. These conditions allowed much more extensive root and tiller development during a time when the plants would normally have been dormant. As a result, early spring indications were (by tiller/head counts) that the 2012 production would be well above average. However, while there were more heads than normal, the combination of hot and dry weather caused fewer kernels per head resulting in lower yields.
The 2012 HRW wheat crop can be characterized as one in which we saw average to above average kernel sizes and weights as compared to 5-year averages. However, while overall protein quantity (12.6%) was above 2011 (12.3%) and the 5-year average (12.0%), protein quality was diverse, this was reflected in the resulting dough functionality and bake test data (an overall farinograph stability of 11.1 minutes and an overall loaf volume of 789 cc) both significantly below the 5-year averages.
Download a PDF copy of the Harvest Summary October 18th, 2012 Final