By FWi staff

FINAL results of the Home Grown Cereals Authority quality survey indicates a marked deterioration in the British wheat and barley crop as harvest progressed.

The survey was based on over 1300 wheat and barley samples and was constructed to be representative of the UK crop by variety and region.

Alastair Dickie, HGCA Market Information director said that given the wide variation in quality between regions and varieties, reliance on national averages could be misleading.

“This means that farmers need to be aware of the quality of specific parcels of grain and remain aware of the different quality requirements of the consumer.”

Worst affected wheat varieties were those in the National Association of British and Irish millers group 3.

These varieties account for over one third of the UK wheat crop and normally meet the demands of domestic millers for blending and for exports of milling quality wheat.

NABIM group 1 bread making varieties suffered less than other groups. Malacca in particular delivered good quality results.

Milling qualities were, however, adversely affected and millers have adjusted their requirements accordingly.

The HGCA said that barley quality was generally unaffected by the harvest rain, apart from some spring barley in East Anglia.

The later harvested Scottish crop showed good malting quality characteristics so that reasonable supplies of malting barley were available.

“Of note were nitrogen levels in early harvested English crops that were too low for many modern malting requirements,” noted the HGCA.