The US is poised for yet more of the rainfall, while
boosting potential for row crop yields, are undermining barley and wheat
condition, spurring worldwide concerns over the availability of quality
The spring wheat belt running from the northern US Plains
into Canada's Prairies is poised for more rainfall this week which, while not
expected on the same extent as last week, will continue to interrupt an
"Heavy weekend rains in key areas of North American spring
wheat and durum production will limit harvest progress early this week," said
Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities, based in Minnesota, a big US spring
"The potential for additional rain is noted this week and
current forecasts indicate the potential for heavier amounts into next week."
In Chicago, Terry Reilly at Futures International said that "the
harvest of the spring wheat crop has been largely put on hold, and rain late in
the week will again interrupt harvesting".
US Department of Agriculture data overnight showed the US
spring wheat harvest only 27% completed as of Sunday, below an average of 49% by
In North Dakota, the top spring wheat growing state, just
10% of the crop was in the barn, compared with a typical 34% by now.
"Heavy rainfall last week halted small grain harvest," USDA
"Almost the entire state received at least an inch of
moisture last week, with areas in the southwest reporting totals of 4-5 inches."
In South Dakota, where the harvest was 30 points behind the
typical 87%, "rain and humid conditions across South Dakota slowed small grain
And in Minnesota, where growers have only 12% of spring
wheat in the barn compared with an average of 66%, "widespread rains in slowed
small grains harvesting".
'Starting to raise
Furthermore, the rainfall has threatened quality too, at a
time when harvest-time rains have already damaged much of the European Union
harvest, expected by Strategie Grains to show an unusually low proportion of wheat
fit for milling, with talk too of depressed protein levels in Russia's crop.
The proportion of US spring wheat deemed "good" or "excellent"
dropped 2 points to 66%, falling below last year's reading too.
Mr Reilly said: "US quality problems are starting to raise
concerns, leaving some wonder if supplies of high protein wheat will be ample
enough throughout the 2014-15 season."
The results of Australia's harvest, not expected to start
for another couple of months, "will be important this year" in determining
world supplies of quality wheat.
The decline in US spring wheat quality was particularly
severe in Idaho, where the proportion of spring wheat rated good or excellent
tumbled by 12 points to 37%, thanks to rains which reached "extreme levels" in
"Throughout the state there were reports of mould damage in
wheat and alfalfa," USDA scouts said, flagging too reports that, in barley, "premature
sprouting has degraded the quality from malting capabilities to feed-only grade.
"Extreme weather conditions have increased concern of
economic losses for cereals, alfalfa, and beans."
However, the rainfall has, broadly, been positive for row
crop condition, helping the proportion of US corn rated good or excellent rise
1 point last week to 73%, the best rating for the time of year since at least
Condition improved in states including Minnesota, where USDA
scouts said that the rains which delayed harvesting "helped improve row crop
and pasture conditions".
Similarly in North Dakota, scouts said that the heavy rains "were
needed for row crop development".
In South Dakota, "above-average temperatures in the east
aided row crop development".
The proportion of US soybeans rated good or excellent fell 1
point last week but, at 70%, was also the highest since at least 1993.