At the International Grains Conference (IGC) in London, USW President Alan Tracy predicted that 2011/12 U.S. supplies and ending stocks of HRS and durum wheat could be very tight.

“We are looking at a reasonable carryover coming into this year,” Tracy said at the conference. “But, I do not think we are going to see the same level of carryout.”

Current information substantiates Tracy’s statement. According to USDA’s most recent Crop Progress Report, wheat farmers in South Dakota and Minnesota have nearly completed planting their spring and durum wheat (98 and 96 percent complete respectively).

However, HRS planting in North Dakota is only 69 percent complete, with Montana not far ahead at 73 percent. That means 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of HRS and durum had not yet been planted in those two states alone.

Overall, total U.S. spring wheat planting is 19 percent behind average. As of June 5, only 79 percent of the crop had been planted, compared to the five-year average of 98 percent. As a result, emergence is also behind the five-year average of 92 percent at just 57 percent.

Planting progress for northern durum is even farther behind average. According to the North Dakota Wheat Commission’s June 7 Crop Progress Report, only 25 percent of the North Dakota crop and 65 percent of the Montana crop planted, compared to five-year averages of 94 percent and 92 percent respectively.