AHDB has released the first quality figures for the UK cereal harvest.
The AHDB Cereal Quality Survey results examine quality in samples up to mid-August, just before the widespread rainfall later that month. The second release next month will provide a further update to these figures.
Less than a one-third of wheat samples (31%) met the nabim Group 1 milling specifications (protein – 13%, HFN – 250 secs, specific weight – 76kg/hl). This is below the first CQS release of 2019/20 which saw 55% of samples meet Group 1 specifications. In the drought affected season of 2018/19 had 48% of samples met this level.
These results highlight the challenges for the domestic milling crop. The recent harvest progress report showed that the UK wheat harvest was 59% complete as of August 18. The subsequent late-August rainfall may have impacted the quality of the remaining wheat crop, with Hagberg falling numbers most likely to have been affected, says AHDB.
There is the option of blending domestic samples with higher protein imported wheat for millers, where possible. These imports will most likely come from Germany and Eastern Europe. German A wheat imported into the UK was quoted at £193.50/t for October yesterday [September 7], according to AHDB.
For barley, preliminary results highlight higher nitrogen levels for both winter and spring barley versus the initial release last year. This was, to a degree, expected, following the drought-like conditions throughout late spring. An average of 1.83% grain nitrogen content means many samples are above the desired domestic range of 1.55%-1.75% required to meet traditional malting, brewing and distilling barley specifications.
Export brewing markets permit up to 1.85% grain nitrogen content and could be an option for some of the high UK volume of spring barley produced this season, says AHDB.
First provisional screenings results for both winter and spring barley are showing as improved year-on-year. The proportion of spring barley retained by a 2.5mm sieve is 96.7% versus 93.6% at the same stage last year. Anecdotal reports suggest screenings are poorer year-on-year and AHDB says it would expect this to be reflected in future releases.
With greater barley availability and a higher proportion of samples on the high side of malting spec, feed markets look as though they will be well-supplied this season, says AHDB.