Survey shows improvement in UK wheat and barley

The second provisional estimates of theĀ Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board/Home Grown Cereals Authority'sĀ 2013 Cereal Quality Survey show an improvement in Great Britain wheat and barley quality. These estimates support theĀ results released in September.

The second provisional estimates of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board/Home Grown Cereals Authorityā€™s 2013 Cereal Quality Survey show an improvement in Great Britain wheat and barley quality. These estimates support the results released in September.

Grain quality was shown similar to or better than values obtained prior to 2012, which was a poor quality year. The survey shows consistent quality throughout the region, which can be attributed to the warm and dry weather in Great Britain during harvest.

Scottish barley quality is in line with the English results, with only slightly lower average specific weight and reasonable nitrogen and screenings characteristics.


The second set of results are based on 44,000 wheat samples, almost 2.5 times more than the initial estimates, as data received up to October 1 was now incorporated. Grain quality of nabim groups 2, 3 and 4 varieties is better reflected than in the previous release, as the second half of harvest provided more samples for inclusion in the survey. Despite this, nabim group 1 varieties still make up 35 percent of the samples analyzed.

Most samples originated in the eastern region, making up 48 percent of the total samples analyzed. However, the number of samples received from northern and southwest England increased the most, compared to the first estimates released in September. Final results can be expected to change as more samples are analyzed.

The poor results in 2012 distort the three year average, so the average between 2009 and 2011 is also compared with pre-2012 results.

  • Specific weight  currently stands at 77.1 kilograms per hectoliter, an improvement to the specific weight recorded in 2012 and similar to results in 2009 and 2010.
  • The Hagberg Falling Number has fallen from 334 seconds to 319 seconds, but it remains the highest value recorded since 1990.
  • Protein content, at 12.3 percent, is slightly lower than in 2012, but is higher than the three year average.


This second release shows a large increase in the number of spring barley samples analyzed, which now represent 76 percent of the total Great Britain barley samples analyzed. The increase between the two surveys reflects both a later harvest date and a larger spring area planted.

Scottish barley data was included in this release, which now makes up 19 percent of the sample. However, eastern England still accounts for a third of all Great Britain samples analyzed.

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