Early harvested wheat samples show a reduction in quality on last year, the first set of results for this season from the Home Grown Cereals Authority indicate.

The new Cereal Quality Survey suggests that Hagberg falling number and protein content has also decreased year-on-year.

The results represent over 3,000 samples collected from the first half of this year’s harvest, analysed before 22 August, and the data is therefore skewed towards earlier-cut varieties in the southern and eastern regions.

HGCA economist Michael Archer said: "This is from a small fraction of samples, so it is too early to say what the picture might be for the UK as a whole. Flood problems around the country were localised, so it may not have had as serious an impact as might be feared."

He told British Baker that a more complete update on crops from the HGCA was likely to be published in early October, with an update on crop size expected on October 11, from government department Defra.

The early wheat results, from samples, indicate nabim Group 1 wheat has an average moisture content of 14.5%, specific weight of 77.2kg/hl, Hagberg falling number of 255 seconds and protein content of 12.9%. Group 2 moisture content is placed at 14.3%, specific weight at 77.6kg/hl, Hagberg at 274 seconds and protein content at 12.5%.