Milling wheat quality is far better than last year, but protein contents are slightly low, according to Richard Jenner, director of marketing at Openfield.

“On the whole, sample results are pretty good, but we are seeing some lower proteins. On balance, they are below the standard 13% specification.”

Yields had also been mixed, with first wheats generally performing well, but second wheats proving disappointing.

However, bushelweights and Hagbergs had been good. “It’s not outstanding, but quality is reasonable, and much better than this time last year.”

Spring malting barley was causing more consternation, said Mr Jenner. “We are finding quite a few issues with appearance and split grains.”

Although nitrogen contents were fine, below 1.85%, many samples from the South of England had problems with pre-germination, split skins and fusarium. Those from East Anglia were proving far better, he added.

“Most of the winter malting barley made the grade – but the issue is that that domestic maltster doesn’t want to buy anything – in some cases it’s had to be moved as feed.”

Harvest was about 70% complete in the South, with farmers further north and west still waiting for crops to ripen.

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

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