Advance in-season warning of whether target grain protein contents in milling wheat crops will be achieved is the aim of the collaborative protein prediction project, said Camgrain’s technical manager Alan King.
A three year project being funded by Sainsbury’s is giving Camgrain members exclusive access to the results of tests conducted on their growing wheat crops, which use nitrogen levels to predict final grain proteins.
“Farmers take samples at the flowering and milky ripe stages,” he explained at the Cereals event (10-11 June).
“These then come into our laboratory, where near infrared technology is used to give them the results within 48 hours.”
Knowing in advance allows them to alter their late nitrogen fertiliser use if necessary, he added, ensuring that they achieve milling specification and secure a premium.
“It takes the guesswork out of nitrogen management,” he stressed.
“It also lets us know what’s coming into the store, so that we can make sure that we are meeting our customer’s requirements.”
Other partners in the project include Adas and Whitworth Brothers, he added.
Also connected to the innovative project is the development of a handheld in-field sensor known as WheatScan, which will measure the protein content of young wheat ears without the need to send samples to a laboratory.