Durum is one of the smallest classes of wheat grown in the U.S. Durum in the U.S. is classified as either Northern Durum or Desert Durum. Northern durum is primarily grown in North Dakota and Montana and Desert Durum is grown in Arizona and California.
Durum thrives in a climate characterized by cool summer nights, long warm days, adequate but not excessive rainfalls and a dry harvest - conditions typical of western North Dakota. Durum production has moved further west in recent years due to disease issues commonly associated with wet conditions. Durum is planted between mid-April and the end of May, and harvested in August or September.
In the U.S., total durum acreage equates to two million acres on average with total production of 75 million bushels. Average U.S. yield is 40 bushels per acre.
In North Dakota, durum is planted on about 1.2 million acres with average production totaling 42 million bushels.
About two-thirds of U.S. durum is used domestically, while the other third is exported to 15 different countries around the world. Italy and Algeria are typically the two largest U.S. durum markets.