The quality of this year’s wheat harvest is likely to be better than last year, according to the HGCA’s Provisional Cereals Quality Survey.

The results, which were based on 18,000 wheat samples collected up to 31 August, showed a lower moisture content, plus a higher Hagberg Falling Number, specific weight and protein level, compared to 2010 and three-year averages. This suggests the 2011 crop may be of better quality than 2010 when 37% of 2010 wheat samples made full bread milling specification (nabim group 1).

However, the HGCA warned that the findings were currently biased towards higher-quality bread milling wheat, with the full results in November expected to give a better overall picture of the crop, especially for soft milling varieties.

Average moisture content in this year’s wheat crop was recorded at 14.9% with an average protein content of 12.3% – an increase on 2010’s final result of 11.9% and 4% higher than the three-year average.

Just over 75% of the UK’s wheat crop had been harvested by the beginning of this week, with yields just under the five-year average at between 7.5-7.7 tonnes per hectare.

>>Encouraging signs for UK wheat harvest quality