July 30 August 2, 2001                     Summary by Ben Handcock, Wheat Quality Council

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The tour was conducted from July 30 August 2 in North Dakota plus parts of South Dakota and Minnesota. (Tour Map) Over 50 people participated.

The spring wheat fields surveyed (316) avera.ged 34.9 bushels per acre.  The durum fields (86) averaged 28.3 bushels per acre.  The spring wheat potential is about 1.5 bushels below last year.  The durum potential is about 1.5 bushels above the five-year tour average and about 1.7 bushels above last year. (Tour Results)

Except for the most southern areas, scab pressure was very evident.  Many heads had scab on only a spikelet or two, and it is impossible to know if that kind of pressure will get worse before harvest.  Other heads were fully infected at the time of the tour.  Participants estimated scab in individual fields from 2 percent to as high as 50 percent in some areas.

The second problem with the crop was lodging.  Most people had never seen lodging this severe.  Some fields were 90 percent flat when we viewed them.  This lodging will certainly affect the test weight and yield.  It also has a greater potential for disease infestation because it never gets dry.  Harvesting this severely lodged wheat will also be a real challenge.

I believe we did the best job we could have at the time of the tour.  I also believe this crop has a lot more downside potential than upside.  It is really sad to see such a good crop downgraded because of too much moisture.

Our results should not be viewed as being official.  The North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service will be giving monthly updates of the official data.

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