UK: UK wheat quality 'reasonable-to-good' says HGCA
This year's UK wheat quality is 'reasonable-to-good', with exceptional Hagberg levels, but similar specific weights, and lower protein levels, compared with the five-year average, according to results published by HGCA.HGCA bases its conclusion on the analysis of more than 20,000 samples taken across the UK, a substantial increase on the sample size in previous quality surveys. HGCA economist, Rupert Somerscales commented: "With a large and generally better quality wheat crop, the domestic milling markets should have few problems finding suitable quality wheat to meet their requirements. UK wheat export quality compares more favourably than previous years as much of the competing French and German wheat crop has been damaged by poor harvest weather."However many factors will affect the actual volume of UK exports, including currency movements, relative prices, and suitability for Continental milling."In 1999 the Hagberg number was below 240, whereas this year it has reached 292, well above the five-year average of 278. More than 80% of the breadmaking Group 1 wheats are above 250, and have averaged 327.Specific weights are 76.6kg/hl, in line with last year and the five-year average, with a low of 75.1kg/hl in Scotland, but rising to 77.1kg/hl in the Eastern counties. Varieties Hereward and Shamrock have recorded the highest average specific weights - 78.8kg/hl and 78.0kg/hl respectively.Protein levels, while similar to last season, are equal lowest for the last five years, with a UK average of 11.9%. The Eastern counties have recorded an average of 12%, while Scotland produced 11%. Spring wheats, Axona and Paragon, produced the highest protein levels at 14% and 13.9% respectively; while Hereward, Shamrock, Malacca and Chablis all averaged over 12.5%.A summary of results are available in a free leaflet from HGCA by contacting 020 7520 3926; or on the HGCA website,
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