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UK wheat quality ‘holding up’ amid rushed harvest


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The UK is proving amongst the winners of mixed year for global wheat quality, with farmers rushing to harvest crop even with relatively high moisture content to avoid the threat of rain damage.

Adas edged higher its forecast for the yield of the UK wheat crop, typically the European Union’s third-biggest, to 7.5-7.7 tonnes per hectare, from 7.3-7.7 tonnes per hectare.

The upgrades leaves a harvest which during a dry spring had looked set for dismal yields now set for a result "just under" the average level, of 7.8 tonnes per hectare.

"With increasing areas harvested in the north and west, and on heavier land, where the dry spring had less effect on crops, the average UK wheat yields continue to improve," Adas said.

"Concerns over very poor yields are easing. Some well established, early drilled crops on heavy land have yielded in excess of 12 tonnes per hectare."

Quality factor

And, with most of the milling wheat now harvests, "quality has been maintained" too.

"Overall, the quality of milling wheat is holding up well," the consultancy said, edging its estimate for specific weight higher to 79-80 kilogrammes per hectolitre, from 78-80 kilogrammes.

The estimate range for protein content was widened to 12.1-13.8%, from 12-5-13.5%.

The result comes amid widespread debate over the quality of this year’s global wheat harvest, with Germany and much of Poland suffering another rain-damaged harvest, and doubts growing about Black Sea crops too, while the likes of France have exceeded earlier expectations.

However, the UK is a relatively small producer of high quality wheat, with more than half its wheat area planted with feed varieties.

Energy bills rise

The results follow a scramble by growers to take advantage of every break in the clouds for harvesting, after successive years of poor combining weather in many areas.

"Despite the rain causing disruptions in the south, overall harvest progress is ahead of the five-year average for all crops," Adas said.

However, "with many farmers opting to harvest at slightly high moistures in order to clear their areas", the advantage has come at a penalty in extra drying costs.

"The amount of grain drying required was typically fairly high," Adas said, noting grain moisture content in winter wheat and spring barley of up to 18%.

http://www.agrimoney.com/news/uk-wheat-quality-holding-up-amid-rushed-harvest–3521.html

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