By FWi Staff

BUSHEL weight is a poor measure of wheat quality for feed milling, says the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

Research was commissioned by the HGCA at Leeds University to investigate factors affecting the nutritional value of low bushel weight wheat to farm livestock.

At present feed compounders use bushel weight as a measure to assess the quality of delivered wheat. A range of bushel weights are accepted, although wheat under 65kg/hl is not usually accepted.

The research found no clear relationship between bushel weight and feed value. Trials showed low bushel weight wheats have a lower nutritional value for pigs and poultry, and the effect was more evident in wheat of less than 65kg/hl. However, it was found that certain wheats perform equally well regardless of bushel weight.

“Bushel weight cannot be considered to be a reliable indicator of the nutrient value of wheat and there is an urgent need to develop a better predictor,” said Mike Wilkinson, of Leeds University.

The review concluded that bushel weight is a poor measure of wheat quality, although at present there is no other way of testing the feed value of wheat quickly and accurately at mills when the wheat is delivered.