By MATTHEW WEAVER
U.S. Wheat Associates recently released its quality report, covering the six classes of wheat, for the 2010 crop.
Jim Frahm, the vice president of planning, said the report is used to inform overseas buyers about the quality available from the year's harvest and how it compares with previous years.
The report helps buyers obtain grain that suits their needs at a reasonable price, Frahm said.
U.S. Wheat presents the data from each class at crop quality seminars held annually around the world.
Frahm said hard red spring wheat generally had low proteins and somewhat weaker performance indicators, while hard red winter wheat had lower protein, making for a short supply of protein in the primary bread wheats.
Glen Squires, vice president of the Washington Grain Commission, said the report is positive for soft white wheat, which is primarily grown in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Protein levels are lower, which is what buyers desire in soft white wheat, Squires said. The report also indicates other desirable traits, such as larger cookie spread data and larger sponge cake volume.
"The results of the crop are very encouraging from a market perspective," he said. "The message for buyers is that if you want quality soft white wheat for your products, the crop this year is excellent."
The 2010 U.S. Wheat Crop Quality Report findings for the classes of wheat found in the West:
Soft white wheat: Test weight averages for soft white and winter club wheats were below 2009 averages, other grading factors were similar to 2009 and five-year averages.
Hard red wheat: California experienced another cool growing season, resulting in high yields, variable proteins and low disease pressure. California hard red wheat acreage increased more than 15 percent
Hard white wheat: Grown primarily in California, Idaho, Kansas and Colorado, its analyses showed good quality performance in milling, dough rheological properties, or flow, and end-use quality. Blending 10 percent to 20 percent soft white into this year’s hard white wheat may improve Asian noodle color while maintaining acceptable texture.
Durum: Acreage planted in Arizona and southern California for 2010 was about 30 percent less than in 2009, with yield slightly greater than average. The crop exhibits consistently large kernel size and low moisture. Quality characteristics are similar to expectations.
Idaho is gaining popularity as a durum-growing region, due to its desert environment and abundance of irrigation. Idaho-grown durum is noted for its mellow gluten, good in fresh pasta.