The winner of the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) wheat quality award were announced at the AHDB Milling Wheat conference.
Norfolk farmer and Hutchinsons agronomist Alexander Wilcox, won first prize with his winter wheat crop of Crusoe. Yielding 12.16t/ha, with protein levels of 13.1%, the crop was grown under a flexible cultivation system in a field which was ploughed for the first time in five years. Drilled in late October for black-grass control, Mr Wilcox said he aims for a market which is 76kg/hl bushel weight, 250 hagberg and 13% protein.
Mr Wilcox’s entry was praised for its excellent grain analytical quality. Despite gluten being slightly resistant, a trend seen across the 2018 wheat crop generally, loaves had good structure and texture.
Mr Wilcox said his top tips for achieving the award are creating as fertile soil as you can and ensuring a prompt harvest.
“Whatever you are working with, work on your soil organic matter levels, work on your soil structure, look at your land drainage and get all those factors in place,” he said. “When it comes to harvest do not go on holiday when you think it is a week away. Get it done early rather than late.”
Sam Markillie from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, came in second place with a crop of KWS Zyatt achieving 11.83 t/ha and 1.32 t/ha protein.
In third place, was Essex farmer Richard Carr with a 10.06 t/ha crop of Crusoe with a protein content of 1.30 t/ha.