A Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) research scientist calls it a “two-phase” harvest—with high quality early and lower quality expected in October.
Dave Hatcher says the numbers have been very good for wheat and durum combined in August and early September. The CGC Harvest Sample Program has received over 5,000 Canada Western Red Spring Wheat (CWRS) samples—mostly crop combined early before the weather turned cold and wet.
Hatcher says nearly all of the CWRS samples graded number one.
“Our number ones this year (so far) on average have a considerably higher protein content than last year, which was also a very good year.”
CWRS samples are averaging 13.8 percent, or 0.7 percent higher than last year’s average.
Hatcher says it is the same story for the top grade of Canada Western Amber Durum Wheat.
“Protein content is up over last year. It is coming in at an average of 14.3 percent. In my 35 years with the Commission, I have never seen Amber Durum that high.”
The early harvested wheat and durum was combined dry. The weather turned colder and wetter in September and the first part of October. The delayed harvest means fewer samples have been submitted from central and northern areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Those crops spent additional weeks in the field, sometimes under snow.
Samples from those crops are needed to provide an accurate picture of the entire Western Canadian crop. The Grain Commission says that information is extremely important to international customers.
“Many buyers are very savvy and aware of the Western Canadian harvest,” says Hatcher. “They watch on the internet about the weather patterns. They want to know exactly what the quality is as the crop continually comes off.”
Participating producers in the Harvest Sample Program receive an e-mail report that includes an unofficial grade, protein and dockage for the grain. A new addition this year also provides Falling Number and DON (deoxynivalenol) results for wheat.
“The last couple of years, we haven’t had a problem with falling number. Unfortunately, for those people who got caught under the snows, this will be an important piece of information for them.”
Falling number gives an indication of the amount of sprouting damage that has occurred within a wheat sample.
Hatcher says it is important to take a representative sample, so the results provide a true and accurate assessment of the grain.
The CGC has extended the registration deadline for the Harvest Sample Program until November 30th. You can register online at https://grainscanada.gc.ca/quality-qualite/hsp-per/hspm-mper-eng.htm
There is no charge to enroll and registered participants have until December 31 to submit samples.