November 18, 2008

Wet summer damages '08 UK crop quality; protein content down


The UK's 2008 wheat crop suffered lower protein content and specific weight and high moisture content as a result of a wet summer, the Home Grown Cereals Authority said Monday (November 17).


Protein content fell to 11.3 percent in 2008, compared with 12.2 percent in 2007, the HGCA said.


For most breadmaking flour, wheat with protein content above 13 percent dry matter, is preferred, the HGCA says.


"Although these are the lowest protein levels we have seen in 10 years, this has been an issue experienced in many other countries as well, perhaps as a result of higher yields," said Icaro Rebolledo, HGCA Economist. "Following two high-quality wheat crops in 2005 and 2006, the 2008 crop is on average of lower quality compared to the previous three seasons' average."


In its final Cereals Quality Survey, the HGCA said Hagberg levels, a measure of baking quality, fell to an average of between 165-265 seconds, compared with between 220-259 seconds in 2007.


"In general it will be interesting to see if sufficient milling-grade standard wheat is available for our domestic milling industry for 2008/09, bearing in mind the record crop," Rebolledo said.

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