Majority of wheat fails the grade

ALMOST three quarters of all the nation‘s Group 1 bread making varieties failed to meet specification this year, according to latest survey results.

Hagberg numbers and specific weights are both below their three year average, according to revised results from the Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s Cereal Quality Survey.

An estimated 27% of Nabim Group 1 varieties will meet full bread making specification this year, said the HGCA‘s Rupert Somerscales.

Compared to the three year average of 29%, the situation does not appear too bad, he noted.

“But this masks the picture regionally,” he said, pointing out that in the north only 6% of Group 1 varieties met full specification, while in the south east this was 32%.

With more later cut samples now included in the results, a clearer picture of the extent of hagberg deterioration and regional variations can be seen, he said.

Average hagberg numbers for Group 1 and 2 bread making varieties were around 20% down on the three year average at 231 and 221 seconds respectively.

Home grown supplies of biscuit wheat will also be down this year, as only 43% of nabim Group 3 varieties met typical biscuit specification, compared to a more normal figure of 69%.

In samples from northern areas, only 16% met biscuit grade, Mr Somerscales pointed out.

“Soft wheat varieties are the more worrying results, due to the significant deterioration caused by rain in mid/ late August.”

Crops cut before the rains have gone quite well, while samples of later cut crops have shown greater deterioration, he added.

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