19 June 1998

Pasta wheat back in UK

CONTRACTS are still available to grow the UKs first durum wheat for five years, which is returning to British farms following a change in EU support.

After lobbying from Harlow Agricultural Merchants and Pasta Foods the rules have been relaxed to allow limited UK production. For next season there will be an area aid payment of £111/ha on top of the cereal payment for a maximum of 5000ha (12,350 acres).

"We have signed up growers for two-thirds. The rest is still up for grabs," says HAMs Stuart Attridge.

As well as the area aid payment, durum attracts a premium of £20/t over the HGCA feed wheat price for 12% protein and 250 Hagberg or £10/t with 11% protein and 180 Hagberg. &#42