• Wheat is sprouting in the head.
• Low quality wheat being harvested in Upper Southeast.
• Buyers need wheat for livestock feed.
RANDY WEISZ, North Carolina State University Small Grain Specialist, discusses wheat quality at a recent field day.
Wheat quality in many areas of the Upper Southeast that have been inundated by rainfall for the past few weeks is going to be low.
Low test weights and low yields will often be accompanied by sprouting in the heads and varying levels of vomitoxin in harvested wheat.
Despite the low quality, North Carolina State University Small Grain Specialist Randy Weisz says there is still a market for this lower quality wheat.
Weisz says, “Wheat that has sprouted in the head is turning up all over North Carolina. At some locations, as many as 1 in 3 grain loads arriving at buying points have had extremely high levels of sprouting and very low test weight.”
Warsaw, North Carolina-based grain buyer Murphy Brown announced this week the company would purchase wheat that has sprouted and have ramped up facilities to handle it.
They have instituted the following guidelines:
• Spouted grain will be treated just like any other "foreign matter";
• The discount for foreign matter has been extended from a maximum of 10 percent to a new maximum of 20 percent;
• The discount for test weight has been extended from a minimum of 50 pounds per bushel to a new minimum of 40 pounds per bushel;
• This policy is being honored at all Murphy Brown's feed mills.
• Some elevators may sometime take grain that has sprouted, but growers should not count on elevators to meet these new standards.
Weisz says since posting the announcement of Murphy Brown’s decision to buy sprouting wheat, he has heard from several buyers who likewise intend to buy low quality wheat.
“I've learned there are many elevators and mills purchasing low test weight, and sprouted wheat grain. Growers with sprouted wheat should check with their local buyers to find out what options are available to them in their area.
“The good news is that there are multiple markets for this grain, and growers should not give up on this crop even if it is starting to sprout,” the North Carolina State specialist says.
“Growers should not give up on their crop, they have many options for marketing their sprouted grain, and should call their local buyers for details, Weisz adds.
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