Thursday, November 14, 2019

High quality German E wheats gain traction with UK growers

September 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

More UK growers are turning to German E winter wheats offering high gluten, high quality and strong disease resistance.

The UK imports more than 675,000t of strong wheat with high gluten quality for bread-making from Germany, Canada and USA every year. But more UK farmers are turning to E wheats because of their perceived agronomic and market benefits.

One E wheat has found particular favour with millers. Supplied by Lincolnshire-based Cope Seeds, Nelson offers growers a premium over Group one milling wheat. It boasts a white crumb, no evidence of weakness and produced loaves of good volume.

George Mason from Heygates millers said the company was committed to using homegrown wheat where possible. But he added: “We have identified that Nelson grown to 14% protein brings us quality and functionality that will displace imported wheat.”

Mr Mason added: “By offering a buy-back contract that incentivises growers, the combination of an additional quality premium and the benefits of the variety on-farm, we are finding the variety very popular.”

Independent agronomist Geoffrey Hawes thinks the benefits of Nelson need to be more widely understood. “Since Nelson was introduced into commercial trials in the UK in 2014, it has been the cleanest variety I’ve dealt with.

“Nelson is suited to a wide range of soil types, including drought-prone land or soils with limited yield potential and last year it yielded well, despite the lack of rain, on account of being a tall variety with good standing ability.”

Nelson is 10cm taller than Crusoe but scores a 9 for standing ability. Its height is said to link with its ability to compete with blackgrass. It has a late and wide drilling window – from the end of September to the end February – which makes it ideal for this purpose.

Gemma Clark of Cope Seeds said: “We started to work with Nelson when we found out it produced grain with outstanding bread-making quality and was classed as E quality – the highest quality rating attainable.”

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