15 September 2000

HGCA reckons bulk of wheats OK for quality

WHEAT quality from this harvest should be good enough to satisfy target markets in most cases, according to the HGCA.

With about 5500 samples analysed so far, proteins, Hagbergs and specific weights should present few problems, says Rupert Somerscales. Most varieties, even feed types, have hung onto Hagbergs well, unlike many crops in Europe.

"HGCA samples show a slight decline in protein across the south-west and West Midlands. However, Group 1s, 2s and 3s have acceptable levels for most markets.

"Proteins in the Group 1s are at about the five-year average. Although slightly down on full breadmaking spec of 13%, they shouldnt cause the milling industry a lot of concern."

Northern results are still coming in. "Things could still change, but there are generally fewer Group 1s grown there."

Hereward and Shamrock share top average protein of 12.9%. Malacca is slightly adrift at 12.6%, but early fears that it could have been worse have subsided, says Mr Somerscales. "Its early results were erratic. On a regional basis Shamrock slipped to 12.1% in the north and Malacca fell to the same level there and in the south-west. Hereward has generally held up well in the north.

"71% of Hereward samples and 75% of Malacca are in the range 11.1-14%."

Hagbergs in the Group 1s, as with other groups, are well up, Malacca topping the trio at an average of 331, with Hereward and Shamrock on 316 and 314. Worst was the south-west, where Hereward fell to 293 after rain hit ripe crops, he notes. "Northern crops were less affected as they were not then ready to cut."

Shamrock has marginally the best specific weight at 78.3kg/hl. Hereward and Malacca are on 78.2 and 77.7, respectively. "The average is just 0.1 down on last year, which wont cause any problems." &#42