The proportion of nabim Group 1 varieties hitting a typical high quality bread wheat specification is the highest for 13 years, according to the final results of the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Cereal Quality Survey. A substantial 45 per cent of the samples hit the spec for this harvest.
However, for the 17,689 wheat samples analysed in 2016, the average specific weight of wheat, at 76.7kg/hl, is the lowest in the past four years, according to AHDB.
James Webster, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds analyst, said: “It is worth noting that despite specific weights being lower than the five-year average of 77.6kg/hl, the average for Group 1 wheat samples, at 77.4kg/hl, is still ahead of the minimum required for high quality bread wheat in the UK (76kg/hl).”
The average protein content of the samples is 12.4 per cent. This represents the highest average protein level in the UK since 2012 and is 0.6 per cent higher than the three-year average, according to AHDB.
The average Hagberg Falling Number (HFN), at 307s, is higher than both last year and the three-year average.
The final results of the 2016 Cereal Quality Survey highlight the high proportion of samples meeting the minimum specifications for high and medium quality bread wheat. The proportion of nabim Group 1 varieties meeting or exceeding the minimum standard for high quality bread wheat (specific weight ≥ 76kg/hl, protein content ≥ 13 per cent, HFN ≥ 250s) at 45 per cent, is the highest since 2003, said AHDB.
The proportion of nabim Group 1 and 2 varieties meeting or exceeding the specification for medium quality bread wheat (specific weight ≥ 74kg/hl, protein content ≥ 12.5 per cent, HFN ≥ 180s) this year, is 69 per cent. This compares to 57 per cent last year.
Mr Webster added: “The 2016 results highlight the high proportion of samples meeting milling requirements this year. For instance, the higher protein levels may encourage UK millers to use more domestic wheat.
“We have already begun to see UK wheat displacing imported wheat in the milling sector. This year the proportion of imported wheat used by the UK milling industry - including bioethanol and starch production - from July to September is the lowest since 2011. The lower specific weights mean extraction rates are likely to be lower, which could also influence the amount of wheat required.”