Wheat quality down on last year and mixed results for barley so far

Wheat cut during the first half of this year’s harvest was of lower quality than last harvest, according to the first results from the HGCA’s Cereal Quality Survey.

Samples of crops cut before 22 August had an average Hagberg of 254 seconds, compared with a final GB estimate of 294 seconds last year.

Average protein content was also down on the 2006 harvest, with Group 1s coming in at 12.9% and Group 2s at 12.5%. Group 3s averaged around 11.5% protein.

However, because the results represented [3,236] wheat samples collected from the first 50% of this year’s harvest, they were skewed towards earlier-cut varieties in southern and eastern regions, HGCA economist Michael Archer said. “…there is scope for the data to change before the final results.”

Early barley results from 3,421 samples also showed mixed quality, with estimated specific weight for all areas at around 64.4kg/hl (compared with 67.7kg/hl last year). Nitrogen contents for Pearl  and Optic came in at 1.82% and 1.65% respectively and moisture was typically 15.8% to 14.6%.

“We will have to wait and see how the full picture emerges as later-cut samples are analysed,” Mr Archer said. “This will give us a much clearer regional analysis and will include samples which may have been affected by the most recent changes in weather.”

Wheat results at a glance
Moisture %    Specific weight (kg/hl) Hagberg (sec) Protein (%)
Group 1 14.5 77.2 255 12.9
Group 2 14.3  77.6 274 12.5
Group 3 14.3 76.3 234 11.5
Source: HGCA