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The 2010 spring wheat harvest has begun in South Dakota and Minnesota, according to field offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in those states. The harvest was 6% completed in South Dakota by July 25 compared with 17% as the recent five-year average progress for the date, and the Minnesota harvest was 1% completed. Combining was expected to expand rapidly.

The U.S.D.A. on July 9 forecast a spring wheat crop (other than durum) at 606,755,000 bus, up 23,344,000 bus, or 4%, from 584,411,000 bus in 2009. It would be the largest other-spring wheat crop since 691,680,000 bus in 1996 and would compare with the recent five-year average outturn of 515,395,000 bus. The U.S.D.A. projected hard red spring wheat production at 567,003,000 bus, up 19,070,000 bus, or 3%, from 547,933,000 bus in 2009. It would be the largest hard red spring wheat crop since 630,650,000 bus in 1996.

The U.S.D.A.’s July forecast for other-spring wheat production was based on a harvested area of 13,590,000 acres and an average yield of 44.6 bus per acre. The Wheat Quality Council conducted its 2010 spring wheat tour last week, and at the tour’s conclusion, participants forecast spring wheat yield at a record 46 bus per acre compared with 45.1 bus per acre in 2009, the current record yield. If the tour forecast yield is realized, other-spring wheat production this year might reach 625 million bus, which would be second only to the 1996 outturn.

Wheat producers across the northern Plains in recent weeks concentrated on moving wheat from on-farm bins into commercial storage with the aim of clearing space to accommodate what was expected to be a “bin-busting” harvest.