The average protein level for GB wheat harvested in 2016 is at the highest level for 10 years, according to provisional results of AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds’ Cereal Quality Survey 2016.
However, provisional results for barley indicate a smaller specific weight and grain size than in previous years.
For the 10,166 wheat samples analysed by 31 August, the provisional average protein level was 12.6%. At this stage results are based predominantly on nabim Group 1 and 2 varieties and are geographically biased towards Eastern and South Eastern England, according to AHDB.
James Webster, AHDB cereals and oilseeds analyst, says: “Compared with previous first provisional results as at August 31, the current provisional protein values for wheat are the highest they have been at this stage for the past four years and nearly 1% higher than the previous three-year average.”
Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) has provisionally seen an increase on last year, at 319s in 2016 compared with 312s at this stage last year.
Within the wheat samples analysed, the provisional results represent the lowest specific weights for four years, with an overall average of 77.2kg/hl.
Skyfall is most notable within the nabim Group 1 varieties, achieving a specific weight and HFN above the Group 1 average and a protein level 0.1% below the average. It represents 46% of the Group 1 sample and accounts for 23% of wheat data analysed at this stage, says AHDB.
The early provisional data has a regional bias towards the East and South East, representing 53% and 25%, respectively, of the total sample. Nabim Group 1 varieties account for 51% of the total sample, according to AHDB.
For 2016, the average specific weight for barley is 63.6kg/hl. This is lower than the provisional result from 2012. The range for 2016 is 56.2-70.4kg/hl. The average nitrogen content for 2016, at 1.61%, is ahead of the provisional and final results from both 2014 and 2015. The range for 2016 is 1.24-2.01%, says AHDB.
For winter and spring barley the average nitrogen content is 1.59% and 1.61% respectively.
Provisional screening results indicate a smaller grain size compared to the three-year average and below the level seen at this stage in 2012. The proportion of grain which passed through a 2.25mm sieve was 4.4% (range: 0.1-17.2%), whilst the percentage retained by a 2.5mm sieve was 88.5% (range: 58.4-99.6%), according to AHDB.
There is a significant divide in grain size between winter and spring varieties, with an average of 85% of winter barley and 92% of spring barley being retained by a 2.5mm sieve, it says.