N.D. top wheat producer in U.S.
North Dakota has gained the title of top wheat producer in the U.S.
In 2014, North Dakota produced 17.1 percent of the total U.S. wheat production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Statistics Service. North Dakota produced 347 million bushels of wheat, compared with Kansas at 246 million, Montana at 209 million and South Dakota at 131 million.
In recent years, Kansas has held the No. 1 spot for the nation’s wheat production. However, 2014 growing conditions were tough for Kansas, with drought that contributed to lower production.
North Dakota also had a rough start to planting in the spring of 2014 because of considerable rainfall. Wet weather also hindered the harvest for some producers. Despite the weather setbacks, North Dakota came out on top for total U.S. wheat production.
Four of the most popular wheat varieties in North Dakota are public varieties from North Dakota State University. Popular varieties grown in the state last year included Barlow, Prosper, Faller and Glenn. Of the spring wheat planted in North Dakota last year, more than 40 percent of the acreage was planted to these NDSU varieties.
“NDSU has made its presence known in the state as having leading wheat varieties,” says Joel Ransom, NDSU Extension Service agronomist. “The newly released NDSU variety, Elgin-ND, has high yield, good quality and wide adaptation, so I expect it to be grown on significant acreage in the state in the near future.”
With many top-performing varieties to choose from, NDSU is likely to have a variety that will work for most growers throughout the state, he adds.
Here are highlights of some NDSU spring wheat varieties:
• Elgin-ND – This is the most recent NDSU wheat variety. It was released in 2012, and is known for its high yield and protein. It performs well across the state and has a good disease-resistance package.
• Prosper – Released in 2011, Prosper is among the leaders in yield and performs especially well in eastern North Dakota. It also has held the top spot in Minnesota for the past two years.
• Velva – Released in 2011, Velva is high yielding and has average protein and test weight. It is best adapted to the western portion of North Dakota.
• Faller – This has been a very popular variety in North Dakota and Minnesota since its release in 2007. Faller is a consistent high yielder and does very well in the eastern half of North Dakota.
• Barlow – Released in 2009, Barlow has been the most popular variety in North Dakota for the past three years. It has high yield, test weight and good protein, and performs well across North Dakota.
• Glenn – Glenn was released in 2005 and has become well-known for its exceptional quality. It has high protein, very high test weight and superior baking qualities.