MILLERS HAVE urged wheat growers not to drop Group 1 quality varieties in favour of Group 2 wheats.

A drop in the prime quality wheat acreage could force millers to import the quality they need from overseas, said Allied Mills.

Improving the UK‘s export position is important, but growers should do this by switching out of Group 3 and 4 varieties, said Allied‘s group seed executive, David Waite.

“The UK still needs a consistent supply of Group 1 milling wheat every year.

“Group 2 varieties simply don‘t have the full quality characteristic package breadmakers need.”

Crop entry figures that suggest interest in Malacca is waning could be widely misleading, he added.

“The decision to plant seed is made by licensees on an individual basis and is often a reaction to the current season.

“The interest in Hereward is largely regional and the variety only just sold out last year and perhaps has been overdone this time.”

Mark Charlton, of Allied‘s Technical Centre, pointed out the Hagberg and protein strengths and weaknesses of the two varieties complement each other.

“We need both Malacca and Hereward together in many of the grists we produce,” he said.