POOR specific weights stand out in provisional results from the HGCA Cereal Quality Survey for 2012 reports Farmers Guardian (FG). Wheat average specific weight figures are down considerably on those seen in recent seasons.
According to the report the average specific weight for harvest to date is considerably lower than in recent seasons, at 71.9kg/hl against 78.7kg/hl in 2011 and a three-year average of 77.5kg/hl.
Average specific weights in the South East are 72.1kg/hl, were down 6.8 per cent on the three-year average and in the East 72.2kg/hl, that deficit is 7.4 per cent – some of the lowest on record since 1977.
The average Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) for harvest to date is 267 seconds, compared with 269 in 2011, which has been lower than average so far. But,”has been within acceptable levels” according to HGCA market specialist Charlotte Garbutt.
However FG has suggested that early results show protein levels are slightly higher, although there is a bias towards quality wheats (59 per cent of the wheat samples included in the provisional results came from NABIM groups 1 and 2).
Average protein content for harvest to date is 12.7 per cent, compared with 12 per cent for final 2011 results and the three- year average of 11.8 per cent.
The results indicate that 26 per cent of the 4,032 NABIM group 1 and 2 samples received met a medium quality bread wheat specification (74kg/hl specific weight, 180 HFN, 12.5 per cent protein) but only 4 per cent of group 1 samples met full bread milling specifications.
Mrs Garbutt said, “The overriding reason for such a low achievement of full specification is the specific weight quality criteria.
“Only 17 per cent of all NABIM group 1 samples collected for 2012 to date have achieved 76kg/hl, compared to 92 per cent last year.”
According to FG the provisional 2012 estimates for barley show a lower specific weight and poorer screenings compared to a year ago but nitrogen content levels are better.