Weekly Market Highlights
- Spring wheat futures prices are a bit higher so far this week, high protein basis premium prices have fallen. There will be no shortage of high protein spring wheat this season.
- The spring wheat harvest has been moving quickly through drought stricken areas in the Western portion of the growing area. Harvest saw some delays from rain, but a much-improved crop moving east.
- Winter wheat futures fell slightly, basis premium prices are mostly firm. The winter wheat harvest is all but wrapped up.
- The USDA is expected to lower their spring wheat production forecast in tomorrow’s August Crop Production report.
- Prices have fallen fairly steadily since early July. If tomorrow’s report surprises the market with a larger than expected drop in spring wheat production this trend could quickly reverse.
Facts on Flour Measuring Protein Quality
Protein quality can be measured indirectly with dough-testing devices such as the farinograph. The farinograph curve provides useful information regarding the strength, mixing tolerance and absorption characteristics of flour. This instrument measures the resistance of flour and water dough to mechanical mixing. The resistance is recorded as a graph.
The shape of the curve indicates the strength of the flour. From the graph, a technician can determine a few key measurements: Arrival Time is the time it takes the curve to reach a standard resistance line. This value represents the rate of hydration of the flour. Peak Time is the time required for the dough to reach full development.
The measurement can be a predictor of optimum mixing time. Stability Time is the amount of time the curve stays above the standard resistance line. This value will relate to the tolerance of the flour to mixing. Absorption is the amount of water required to create the dough that will center itself on the standard resistance line.
The value is not necessarily the true formulation absorption for the baker. Mixing Tolerance Index is the distance the curve drops five minutes after it has reached the full development peak. This value will relate to the rate at which the flour breaks down under mixing stress.
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