Newer varieties of wheat and late foliar sprays of nitrogen have led to the average protein level for GB wheat harvested in 2016 to be at the highest level for 10 years, according to the provisional results of AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds’ Cereal Quality Survey 2016.
For the 10,166 wheat samples analysed by 31 August, the provisional average protein level was 12.6%. However, at this early stage the results are based predominantly on nabim Group 1 & 2 varieties and are geographically biased towards Eastern and South Eastern England. As with previous years, this bias means the results are liable to change as the rest of the GB crop is harvested and analysed.
James Webster, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Analyst added: “Compared with previous first provisional results as at 31 August, the current provisional protein values for wheat are the highest they have been at this stage for the past four years, and nearly 1% higher than the previous three-year average.”
Another measure of the quality of the grain, the Hagberg Falling Number (HFN), has provisionally seen an increase on last year, at 319s in 2016 compared with 312s at this stage last year.
Within the wheat samples analysed, the provisional results represent the lowest specific weights for four years, with an overall average of 77.2Kg/hl. This year is still well above the levels witnessed at the provisional stage in 2012 (71.9Kg/hl).
Skyfall is most notable within the nabim Group 1 varieties, which has once again achieved a specific weight and HFN above the Group 1 average, plus a protein level only 0.1% below the average. Skyfall represents a large proportion (46%) of the Group 1 sample and also accounts for 23% of the total wheat data analysed at this stage.
As with previous years, the early provisional data has a regional bias towards the East and South East, representing 53% and 25% respectively of the total sample. It is also worth noting that nabim Group 1 varieties account 51% of the total sample. As such the current results are biased towards milling wheat varieties and are not a fair representation of the GB wheat crop as a whole. As further data and releases are published the regional and varietal biases will be addressed.
- The 2016 average Specific weight, at 77.2 kg/hl, is the lowest provisional result since 2012. However, it is in line with the 2014 final result and marginally behind the three year average final result. The range for 2016 is 72.0-82.0 kg/hl
- The average Hagburg Falling Number for 2016, at 319s, is above both the provisional and final results for 2015 and ahead of the three year average. The range for 2016 is 219s-413s.
- The provisional average protein content at 12.6%, is highest provisional result since 2012. The range for 2016 is 10.2-15%