24 August 2001
Poor quality ‘may not last’: ARC

By Andrew Blake

DESPITE initial evidence of slipping wheat quality, growers have no cause to panic, especially with later-drilled wheats, according to Arable Research Centres.

Initial results from ARC trials show the average specific weight of 35 varieties has fallen from last years 74.3kg/hl to 72kg/hl this year, said director Mike Carver.

Growers giving reports on the FWi/FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Highlights service have feared most for their quality wheats, such as Hereward. See here for more.

But the ARC trials results show Hereward quality has help up well, slipping only 0.4kg/hl on average. The usual suspects have fared less well, says Dr Carver.

“It seems that it is varieties with a known specific weight problem that have slipped the furthest. There is also definite evidence of sprouting, especially in Claire and Consort.”

He also points out that the ARC trials were drilled in late September to early October, whereas many later-drilled commercial crops are less at risk.

“There is no evidence yet of a major problem. It certainly wont be as severe as it might have been if the weather had carried on as it was.”

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