Later cut wheat in the East Midlands has dropped even further in terms of quality, according to Rob Munro, marketing director Fengrain.
“It’s becoming evident that there’s another lurch down in quality – it’s going to be a harvest that we’ll remember for all the wrong reasons this year.”
About 40% of milling wheat varieties were just about reaching the required specification, he said.
“By hook or by crook there will probably be just enough milling wheat in the locality, which will be supplemented by imports.
“But there is some pretty awful feed wheat, which is barely meeting 65kg/hl – and there is a noticeable hardening by one or two end users, who are probably struggling to make the required end product.”
Most mills were doing their best to accommodate lower quality grain, added Mr Munro. “I’m delighted by the way they are trying to keep it in the system.”
However, minimum intake levels were set at 65-68kg/hl, depending on the consumer. “Below that, you will have to blend it in store to boost the average bushel weight – but you need the good quality wheat to blend it with.
“There is no export market for that type of wheat – the reality is that you can buy Baltic wheat much more cheaply than UK wheat,” he added.
“People are just going to have to be a bit patient and work with their buyers to find the right solution.”