HAGBERG FALLING numbers and specific weights were below average this harvest, but protein contents are up slightly, according to final harvest survey results.

In some areas, Hagbergs were the lowest for 10 years, the Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s Cereal quality survey revealed.

The average value across Great Britain was 180 seconds, 30% lower than the three year average, the results showed.

“Soft wheat varieties performed very poorly, with Claire, Consort, Deben and Robigus all below 155 seconds,” said HGCA data analyst, Rupert Somerscales.

Specific weights were also below the three year average in all regions, ranging from 73.4kg/hl in the north to 75.8kg/hl in the south.

Protein contents, although slightly up on average, proved more mixed between varieties. Nabim group 1 and 3 varieties averaged 13.5% and 11.7% respectively.

But barley was less affected by the wet weather due to earlier harvesting, he noted.

Specific weights were around average, but nitrogen contents proved more variable.

The highest N levels were in the Midlands and western areas at 1.85%, compared to the lowest of 1.60% in Scotland.

Poor quality this year had increased the amount of grain rejected after failing to meet minimum contract specification, Mr Somerscales said.

“The costs to both producer and consumer can be significant. It is imperative therefore that stored grain is maintained in accordance with HGCA storage guidelines.”

A copy of the grain storage guide is available on www.hgca.com.