8/26/2021: The theme of the 2021 HRW harvest could be characterized as “extremes”. Harvest began in central Texas with rain, rain, and more rain just as the crop matured, that was followed by damp, overcast, cool weather making it very difficult to get the crop out of the field. These conditions prevailed for several weeks and when it wasn’t raining many areas experienced abnormally cool conditions, heavy overcast with very high humidity. While not unusual for the Southern Plains during harvest, the length of time it lasted was unusual. Harvest in most of the central and eastern parts of the HRW production area of the US was delayed by almost 2 weeks due to excessive moisture and high humidity limiting harvest start times that then only lasted a very few hours each day before the straw was too tough to cut shutting down harvest early. The northern US and Pacific Northwest experienced the opposite conditions leading to an early harvest seeing exceptionally dry conditions, abnormally high temperatures, and a short crop (understated). Early lab results are reflective of these conditions.
Early testing data: There are currently 505 of (a now expected 525) samples in the lab and with 484 in various stages of testing. Moisture dropped slightly (11.0% to 10.9%) and overall protein increased from 11.8% to 11.9%. TKW increased from 30.1 grams to 30.2 grams and test weight decreased from 60.5 lbs/bu (79.6 kg/hl) to 60.4 lbs/bu (79.5 kg/hl). Falling number decreased slightly this week (364 sec.) down from (369 sec.) last week. Other kernel factors remained unchanged from last week. Dough and bake tests have begun on the first 32 composites (Texas/Oklahoma/partial Kansas). Average bake absorption is good at 62.7%. Farinograph and alveograph data indicate the need for monitoring during mixing as over mixing will be possible. Early indications are this crop can make a very good final product with an average loaf volume of 874cc (average across all protein ranges in the region defined) when handled properly. The US HRW harvest is now complete. However, there still samples (20) in transit to the lab from 2 states.