Grain quality 2012


Grain harvest: good quality in spite of a cool and rainy growing season

The quality and quantity of the grain harvest were good, even though the growth season in 2012 began late and was rainier and cooler than average. The quality of wheat was weakened by low protein content, but more than half of the harvest meets the requirements for bread grain. The falling number remained sufficiently high in spite of late harvest. The hectolitre weights of feed grains were high. The wheat harvest totalled 887 million kilograms, half of which meets the basic quality requirements for bread wheat in terms of content, falling number and hectolitre weight. The quality and quantity of the harvest did not match the two previous years. The harvest of wheat suitable for bread grain was 40 per cent smaller than the previous year, but still larger than the eight-year average.
Of the harvest, spring wheat accounted for about 782 million kilograms, of which 55 per cent was suitable for use as bread grain. Winter wheat accounted for about 105 million kilograms, of which only 20 per cent was suitable for use as bread grain. The quality of the wheat harvest was weakened by low protein content. The average falling number was lower than that in the previous years, but sufficiently high in terms of bread grain quality, even though the harvesting season continued late into the autumn.
Varsinais-Suomi and Uusimaa produced the highest quantities of spring wheat, of which 40 and 57 per cent was suitable for use as bread grain, respectively. In Häme, Satakunta and Kaakkois-Suomi, the corresponding proportions were 72, 59 and 32 percent, respectively.

Most of the rye harvest is suitable for use as bread grain

The rye harvest totalled 64 million kilograms. Its quality was high, as it was in the previous two years. Of the harvest, 84 per cent is suitable for use as bread grain – that is, it meets the quality requirements for basic-price rye (falling number 120, hectolitre weight 71 kilograms). Judging from samples from Varsinais-Suomi, Uusimaa and Häme, the three most important rye production areas, the rye harvest seems to entirely meet the quality requirements.

Malting barley and feed barley were of better quality than in previous years

The quality of the malting barley harvest was higher than in the previous two years. The harvest totalled 367 million kilograms, of which 71 per cent meets the requirements for basic-price malting barley in terms of protein content and sorting. Of the samples taken, 23 per cent had weaker quality because of high protein content and 18 per cent because of small grain size. Varsinais-Suomi had the largest malting barley harvest, of which 85 per cent was suitable for malting.
The feed barley harvest was of a higher quality than in the previous two years, and its quantity was higher as well, totalling 1,215 million kilograms, of which 69 per cent had a hectolitre weight of at least 64 kilograms. The average hectolitre weight was 64.6 kilograms, which is higher than the ten-year average.

Milling oat had the highest hectoliter weights in ten years

The hectolitre weights of oats were high. The oat harvest totalled 1,073 million kilograms, nearly all of which had a hectolitre weight of at least 52 kilograms, which is a common basic quality requirement in the feed industry. For milling oat, the general requirement is a hectolitre weight of at least 58 kilograms. As much as 63 per cent of the milling oat harvest met this requirement, which is the largest proportion in more than ten years.

The background of the crops- and quality data

The press release is based on harvest information from Tike, the Information Centre of the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and quality monitoring information from Evira, the Finnish Food Safety Authority, from 2012. The harvest survey carried out by Tike garnered responses from about 6,000 farms, and Evira analysed the grain samples from about 400 farms. The harvest areas of crop varieties have been calculated by deducting the fully destroyed famine area (notified in crop damage applications) from the cultivation area (notified in subsidy applications submitted by farmers).


Grain quality monitoring aims at finding out the working quality of this year’s grain crop as well as quality variations between different varieties of cereals and different regions.

Harvesting started late compared with recent years due to a prolonged growing season, drawn out sowing in the spring and a rainy summer. Nevertheless, harvest is moving ahead as the rains decrease and the crops ripen.

The first quality data was published in the first week in September, and the quality statistics will be updated as the harvesting is progressing.

The sample of grain quality monitoring in 2012 covers approx. 1,700 farms. In addition, a request for samples was this year sent to approx. 300 farmers sampled from the register of organic farms.

This enables a more detailed monitoring of the quality of also organic grain crops. Samples can be sent to Evira’s grain laboratory up to mid-October.

Related topics    

Evira and Tike Grain Quality

Grain quality monitoring charts 2012

situation 4.12.2012

Medium quality of all cereals


Medium grain quality by region


Medium grain quality by variety