20 November 1998

Abbot fails to shine

WINTER wheat Abbot is performing well below the expectations of a Group 1 variety this season, according to millers association NABIM.

Inconsistent baking results, with poor loaf volumes and textures, mean the variety is likely to be downgraded to Group 2, says NABIMs Alex Waugh.

Sean Gardner for Abbot breeder PBI Cambridge acknowledges the variety has given erratic baking results this autumn, but believes it is a seasonal effect. Allied Mills wheat director Charlie Fillingham echoes that view. "For four years up to 1997 it did very well. But 1997 results were dreadful and this years have been even worse."

Some Allied mills will use reduced amounts of Abbot this year, while others will exclude it, he notes. Next years crop will only qualify for a Group 1 premium if post-harvest results are acceptable, he adds. "We will naturally assess performance and give a clear picture as soon as we can." &#42