19 July 2002

Hereward payments tempting

TOP-UP premiums are tempting wheat growers, including first-time growers, to sow a variety NIAB says could be nearing the end of its days as a main choice bread-maker.

Over the past year it has become clear that substantial extra cash is available for the best bread-making wheats.

Dalgetys Barry Barker says the standard bread-making premium, for Malacca, is £10-12/t. "This season the premium for Hereward over Malacca ranges from £2-3/t at the bottom end to up to £10/t.

"That certainly makes Hereward competitive, despite its lower yields. You are also more likely to get a full premium than with other milling varieties."

The variety is more efficient at converting nitrogen into protein, which makes it cheaper to grow, he adds. "Its only weakness is its Hagberg."

Centaur Grain recently signed a two-year contract with independent baker Warburtons for supplies of Hereward, which joined the Recommended List in 1991.

"Warburtons want Hereward and we are looking for more farmers to grow it," says Centaurs Jonathan Cowens. "It is lower yielding than the other top-notch baking types, but there is a guaranteed market. If specifications are met premiums of up to 30% over feed are available."

That extra earning potential is attracting a rising number of first time growers, he adds.

Notts-based merchant G Williams Grain has several buyers prepared to pay extra for Hereward.

"We have three or four customers who will pay a double premium as they like both its protein quality and the physical characteristics of its grain," says Andy Sedgwick.

"They consider the variety to be better than other Group 1s and are prepared to pay up to £20/t over feed to get it." &#42

BREAD WHEAT MARKET

&#8226 Extra cash for Hereward.

&#8226 Off-setting lower yield.

&#8226 £2-10/t over Malacca.

&#8226 Guaranteed outlet.

&#8226 Extra cash for Hereward.

&#8226 Off-setting lower yield.

&#8226 £2-10/t over Malacca.

&#8226 Guaranteed outlet.