Hard red spring wheat futures leapt to the highest price since 2014 as farmers are grappling with exceptionally dry conditions in the northern United States. A drought in North Dakota and nearby states has sapped growing plants of moisture, leaving the crop in the worst condition in almost 30 years. According to the USDA, only 45% of the hard red spring wheat crop is in good or excellent condition. This stress could ultimately lead to lower yields and a sharply lower harvest this fall.
Hard red spring wheat is a high-protein variety used in bread production. For commodity traders, it is known as Minneapolis wheat, as the variety was originally traded at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. The market typically carries a significant premium over Kansas City wheat (hard red winter) and Chicago wheat (soft red winter) due to its higher protein content.
As of midday Friday, Minneapolis wheat traded for $6.41 per bushel, well above Kansas City ($4.73) and Chicago ($4.64) wheat futures.