A new testing system for potential milling wheats is being introduced by nabim, it was announced at Cereals.

With a similar feel to the assessment procedure for malting barleys, provisional status will be granted to bread-making varieties as they join the Recommended List.

Further testing will then be carried out by millers, with the aim of granting full approval – where appropriate – some four months later.

“This is a very simple change to the current system. It has been designed to give growers confidence in a variety’s market potential and millers some time to explore the suitability of new varieties for their processes,” explained Martin Savage of nabim.

The three- to four-month provisional approval period will allow commercial quantities of a new variety to be milled and baked, he explained.

“Millers have continued to work with plant breeders and all parties are happy with the proposed timescales,” he said. “New varieties join the Recommended List in December, so the final decision will be made by March. That gives plenty of time for planting decisions to be made ahead of the new cropping year.”

The first candidate variety to be put forward for the new assessment procedure is RAGT’s Skyfall, he reported.

Mark Ringrose of ADM Milling confirmed that being able to test commercial loads was the way forwards. “We need new, improved milling varieties and growers need to know that they will have an end market. This allows us to test commercial loads and have a better knowledge of whether the variety will work for us.”

Nabim finalists revealed

Min-till cultivations and using a gravity separator were two of many technologies being used by this year’s three nabim Milling Wheat Challenge finalists to produce quality wheat.

Stephen Craggs, with his father Ray, has grown continuous milling wheat for about 30 years on their farm in Co Durham and last year achieved 8.16t/ha. The father and son recently invested in a gravity separator, enabling them to tailor bushel weights to miller requirements, even in challenging seasons.

Nick and David Philp grow 700ha of milling wheat in the Thames Valley near Reading, selling most direct to Heygates. Cultivations are mainly based on min-till.

Finally, James Loder-Symonds runs 960ha in Kent, including 514ha of wheat, growing Solstice, Gallant, Crusoe and Cordiale.

NABIM