The average specific weight for this year’s wheat crop is one of the highest on record, according to the AHDB.
Provisional results of the AHDB Cereal Quality Survey puts this year’s average at 79.8kg/hl. This is well up on the three-year mean of 77.6kg/hl.
However, Anna Lockwood, AHDB cereals and oilseeds analyst, points out that the provisional results are predominantly based on wheat harvested in eastern and south-east England and are biased towards Group 1 and 2 milling varieties.
“Final results will depend on how the weather develops in the coming weeks and a more accurate picture will be obtained as more samples are analysed from Group 3 and 4 varieties.”
On the downside, the Hagberg (312) is the lowest provisional figure since 2012, although still well above the 250 minimum for breadmaking specification.
She concludes: “British wheat quality is looking promising.
“The average protein levels for wheat are showing an improvement and, combined with excellent specific weights and good Hagbergs, UK millers have the option to use a greater proportion of home-grown milling wheat to meet their requirements this season.”
For barley, the provisional results show a higher specific weight and nitrogen content compared with last year, but a smaller grain size.
The 14,685 barley samples analysed by 31 August revealed an average specific weight of 67.2kg/hl, above both the three-year average and provisional results from 2014.
The nitrogen content of 1.58% is slightly higher than both the provisional and final 2014 results, but below the three-year average. Initial screening results indicate a smaller grain size, with the proportion of grain retained by a 2.5mm sieve the lowest since 2012 at 93.8%.