This year's barley quality has only been moderately damaged by the wet weather, according to HGCA, following the analysis of more than 5,000 samples, representing 85% of the UK crop.HGCA economist Rupert Somerscales said: "This year's crop quality is better than many expected, as it seems to have been relatively unaffected by the stop-start nature of the harvest. The Scottish crop has been particularly good with high yields and low nitrogens, which will suit the local distilling industry." Yields and quality were highest in Scotland and Northern England. However the specific weights for harvest 2000 averaged 66.2kg/hl, 0.8kg/hl below the five-year average. Of the main varieties, Regina and Pearl had the highest specific weight results of 66.8kg/hl and 67.1kg/hl respectively; while feed barleys, Muscat and Hanna, returned the lowest figures of 64.3kg/hl and 64.7kg/hl respectively.Overall nitrogen levels of 1.67% were higher than last year's, although still below the five-year average. The lower figure was mostly due to Scotland's low figure of 1.57%. Screenings of 4.1% are lower than the five-year average by 2.1%. Scottish samples had the lowest result of 3.0%, followed by 3.5% in the North. Pearl performed well, ahead of both Fanfare and Regina. Meanwhile spring barley results indicate another low nitrogen crop, of which a proportion could be too low for some domestic market needs in England.