Grain quality 2015

Of the conventionally grown rye samples 86 per cent fulfilled the quality criteria for rye, i.e. the falling number was a minimum of 120 and the hectolitre weight a minimum of 71 kg. The average falling number for conventionally cultivated rye was 216 and the hectolitre weight was 77.2 kg. Of the organic rye samples, 67 per cent fulfilled the quality criteria. Both the average hectolitre weight and falling number were lower in organic rye than in conventionally grown rye.

 

Of the conventionally grown spring wheat samples only one fifth fulfilled the quality criteria for wheat, which are a hectolitre weight of a minimum of 78 kg, a falling number of a minimum of 180 and protein content of a minimum of 12.5 per cent. The quality of the spring wheat was the lowest in seven years. The fulfilment of the quality criteria most often depended on the protein content, which only reached the minimum of 12.5 per cent in 37 per cent of the samples. The protein content was 12.0 per cent on average. Of the organic wheat samples, 18 per cent fulfilled the quality criteria. Only nine per cent of the winter wheat samples fulfilled the quality criteria for wheat. As with spring wheat, the protein content of winter wheat was also low, on average10.9 per cent. Of the winter wheat samples 14 per cent had a protein content of a minimum of 12.5 per cent.

 

Of the conventionally grown oat samples 97 per cent exceeded the required hectolitre weight of 52 kg for feed oats and 51 per cent exceeded the required hectolitre weight for oats to be used for food. The average hectolitre weight of oats was 57.7 kg. The average hectolitre weight of organic oats was higher than that of conventionally grown oats and the highest in ten years. Of the organic oat samples 95 per cent had a hectolitre weight over 52 kg and 58 per cent exceeded 58 kg. The average protein content of oats was the same for conventionally grown and organic oats at 11.6 per cent. For conventionally grown oats it was the lowest in 25 years. The maximum level (1750 µg) set for the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) which is produced by the Fusarium fungus was exceeded in 12 per cent of the oat samples (of the total of conventionally and organically grown oats).

 

Of the conventionally grown feed barley samples 77 per cent exceeded the criteria for hectolitre weight, which was 64 kg. This year, the average hectolitre weight for feed barley was 66.4 kg, which was higher than in the eight previous years. Only 31 per cent of the organic feed barley samples exceeded the quality criteria as to weight, and the average hectolitre weight was 63.5 kg. The average protein content of both the conventionally and organically grown feed barley samples was 10.7 per cent.

 

The required grain size and protein content were attained by 55 per cent of the conventionally grown malting barley samples (over 2.5 mm and 9-11.5 per cent).

The quality of the grain harvest was assessed from 1098 conventionally grown and 118 organic samples. The samples were assessed in accordance with the quality criteria used by Evira for the quality monitoring, which are based on the general grounds for pricing used by the Finnish grain trade and the industry.

 

RYE AND ORGANIC RYE QUALITY

Of the rye samples 86 per cent had a falling number of a minimum of 120 and a hectolitre weight of a minimum of 71 kg. Of the organic rye samples, 67 per cent fulfilled these quality criteria. The quality of conventionally grown rye was good in all of Finland. In Southern Finland 90 per cent of the samples of both organic and conventional rye fulfilled the quality criteria.  

 

The average hectolitre weight of conventionally grown rye was somewhat higher than the previous year, 77.2 kg, and higher than the average value for the last ten years (76.3). The average hectolitre weight of organic rye was 75.2 kg. The average falling number for rye was 216, which was considerably higher than the average value for the last ten years (177). The falling number for organic rye was 191. The protein content of both conventional and organic rye was unusually low this year. The protein content of conventionally grown rye was 8.8 per cent (the average value for the last ten years is 10.4 %) and that of organic rye was 9.2 per cent. There were slightly less shrivelled grains (less than 1.8 mm) than the previous year at 3.6 per cent.

 

The most commonly grown variety of conventional rye was Reetta, which made up 47 per cent of the samples. Other commonly grown varieties were Evolo and Juuso. The most commonly grown variety of organic rye was also Reetta (58 % of the samples). Conventionally grown rye samples of 10 varieties and organically grown rye samples of 8 varieties were received. According to the farmers, 86 per cent of the rye samples are used for food, nine per cent for seed and the rest for feed or malting.

 

The estimated average yield of conventionally grown rye was a little below 4000 kg per hectare (variation 1000-7200 kg/ha), whereas the yield estimate for organic rye was about half of the conventionally grown rye (1940 kg/ha). The estimated average yield for conventionally grown rye was the lowest in Eastern Finland (2200 kg/ha). 

 

SPRING WHEAT AND ORGANIC SPRING WHEAT QUALITY  

Of the conventionally grown spring wheat samples 21 per cent had a hectolitre weight of a minimum of 78 kg, a falling number of a minimum of 180 and a protein content of a minimum of 12.5 per cent and therefore fulfilled the quality criteria for wheat. The quality of conventionally grown spring wheat was lower than it had been for the six previous years. The fulfilment of the quality criteria most often depended on the protein content, which only reached the minimum of 37 per cent in 12.5 per cent of the samples. The average protein content of conventionally grown spring wheat was 12.0 per cent which was considerably lower than the average for the last ten years (13.2 %). The falling number (219) remained at the same level as the previous year, but was clearly lower than the average for the last ten years. The falling number was below 180 in 34 per cent of the samples. The average hectolitre weight was somewhat higher than the previous year at 80.9 kg, and was below 78 kg in only 12 per cent of the samples. The quality of the organic spring wheat was lower than that of the conventionally grown, and only 18 per cent of the samples fulfilled all of the quality criteria.

 

The share of wheat samples of good quality was highest in Ostrobothnia (50 %) and lowest in Southwest Finland, Häme and Pirkanmaa (below 13 %). Of the spring wheat varieties, the quality criteria were best fulfilled by Quarna (58 %), which was also the most common variety. The protein content of Quarna was generally high. The protein content was above 12.5 per cent in 71 per cent of the samples of the Quarna variety. Of the samples of the variety Anniina, which was the second most common, 20 per cent fulfilled the quality criteria. The quality of Anniina was reduced due to low falling numbers, as only 40 per cent of the samples had a falling number of a minimum of 180. Only 4 per cent of the samples of the varieties Zebra and Demonstrant fulfilled the quality criteria.

 

Spring wheat samples were received of 21 conventionally grown and 5 organic varieties. The most common varieties of organic spring wheat were Anniina and Quarna. According to the farmers’ reports, 73 per cent of the spring wheat samples are used for food, 17 per cent for feed and eight per cent for seed.

The average estimated yield of spring wheat per hectare was 4320 kg for conventionally grown spring wheat (variation 1100-6500 kg/ha) and 1890 kg for organic spring wheat (variation 900-3700 kg/ha). Southeast Finland had the highest average yield for conventionally grown spring wheat (4700 kg/ha) and Southwest Finland the lowest (4000 kg/ha). The variety Marble produced the highest estimated average yield per hectare of the conventionally grown varieties (4700 kg/ha) and Wanamo the lowest (3600 kg/ha). The estimated yield per hectare of the most common conventionally grown variety of spring wheat, Quarna, was 4600 kg on average.

 

WINTER WHEAT QUALITY

Nine per cent of the winter wheat samples fulfilled the quality criteria for wheat, which means that the protein content was a minimum of 12.5 per cent, the hectolitre weight a minimum of 78 kg and the falling number a minimum of 180. The average protein content of winter wheat was the lowest in 25 years, at only 10.9 per cent. Only 14 per cent of the samples had a protein content of a minimum of 12.5 per cent. The average hectolitre weight of the winter wheat samples was higher than in ten years at 81.4 kg per hectolitre. Of the samples 88 per cent had a hectolitre weight of a minimum of 78 kg. At 319, the falling number was also higher than for the two previous years, and 91 per cent of the samples attained the quality requirement of 180.

 

The estimated average yield of winter wheat per hectare was 4900 kg (variation 1700-7000 kg/ha). Nine different varieties of winter wheat samples were sent in. The most common variety of winter wheat was SW Magnifik, which made up 35 per cent of the samples. According to the farmers’ reports, 70 per cent of the winter wheat samples were used for food, 26 per cent for feed and the rest for seed. Very few samples of organic winter wheat were received, and they are therefore not discussed here.

 

OAT AND ORGANIC OAT QUALITY

The average hectolitre weight of conventionally grown oats was 57.7 kg, which is higher than the average for the last ten years (55.7 kg). Of the conventionally grown oat samples 97 per cent exceeded the required hectolitre weight of 52 kg for feed oats and 51 per cent exceeded the required hectolitre weight of 58 kg for oats to be used for food. The average hectolitre weight was the highest in Central Finland (59.3 kg) and of the different varieties Fiia (59.1 kg) had the highest average hectolitre weight. The average hectolitre weight of organic oats was 58.3 kg, which is higher than that of conventionally grown oats and the highest in the last ten years. Of the organic oat samples 95 per cent exceeded the targeted hectolitre weight of 52 kg for feed oats and 58 per cent exceeded the target hectolitre weight of 58 kg for oats to be used for food. In Eastern Finland the average hectolitre weight of organic oats was 56.7 kg, but in Southern and Western Finland it was over 58 kg.

 

 

 

 

The average protein content of conventionally grown oats was 11.6 per cent, which is the lowest in 25 years. The protein content was highest in South Savo at 13.1 per cent, and lowest in Southwest Finland at 10.4 per cent. Of the conventionally grown varieties, Aslak and Eemeli had the highest protein content (13.3 per cent) and Belinda the lowest (10.2 per cent). The protein content of organic oats was the same as that of conventionally grown at 11.6 per cent.

 

In the samples of conventionally grown oats there were less shrivelled grains (less than 2 mm) this year than for the two previous years, on average 5.4 per cent. At 5.9 per cent there were somewhat more shrivelled grains in the organic oat samples than in the conventionally grown samples.

 

The level of the mycotoxin (DON) produced by the Fusarium fungus exceeded the limit for oats to be used for food in 12 per cent of all oat samples (conventional and organic combined). The maximum limit for DON in oats to be used for food is 1750 µg per kg. The average level of DON was 640 µg in oat samples to be used for food and 680 µg in oat samples to be used for feed. In oats intended for feed the limit of 1750 µg was exceeded somewhat more often (14 %), than in the samples for food purposes (12 %). No DON toxins were detected in 54 per cent of the samples of oats intended to be used for food and none were detected in 41 per cent of the samples of oats intended for feed. The limit was exceeded the most in Häme (26 %) and North Karelia (30 %). The DON level was exceeded the least in Western Finland, especially in Southwest Finland and Pirkanmaa (2 %).

 

We received yield estimates for 31 varieties of conventionally grown oat samples. The most common variety was Akseli, which made up 28 per cent of the samples received. The second most common was Belinda (12 %). Samples of 19 different varieties of organic oats were received. The most common varieties of organic oats were Akseli, Peppi and Venla at 12 per cent each. According to the reports from the farmers, a good 60 per cent of the oat samples are used for feed, one fifth for food and almost one tenth for seed.

 

The yield estimate for conventionally grown oats was on average 4050 kg per hectare (variation 1350-7200 kg/ha). The highest yield estimate came from Ostrobothnia (4730 kg/ha) and the lowest from North Savo (3150 kg/ha) and Central Finland (3380 kg/ha). The yield was estimated to be the highest for the variety Steinar (5030 kg/ha), and the lowest for Eemeli (3320 kg/ha). The estimated yield of organic oats was considerably more modest than that of conventionally grown oats at 2410 kg per hectare.

 

FEED BARLEY AND ORGANIC FEED BARLEY QUALITY

The quality criterion for feed barley for Evira’s quality monitoring was a 64 kg hectolitre weight. This year, the average hectolitre weight for feed barley was 66.4 kg, which was considerably higher than the average for the last ten years (64.1 kg). Of the conventionally grown feed barley samples 77 per cent exceeded the requirement for hectolitre weight. The samples from Southwest Finland had the highest average hectolitre weights at 68.8 kg and the samples from Central Finland the lowest at 64.8 kg. Of the samples from Central Finland, 82 per cent had a hectolitre weight above 64 kg. Of the most commonly conventionally grown varieties Brage, Elmeri, Saana and Toria had high average hectolitre weights as 80-95 per cent of the samples of these varieties had a hectolitre weight over 64 kg. All of the samples of the Streif variety had a hectolitre weight higher than 64 kg, whereas only 20 per cent of the samples of the variety Vilde exceeded 64 kg. Only 31 per cent of the organic samples exceeded the quality criterion for weight and the average hectolitre weight was 63.5. There were so few samples of organic feed barley that no more precise observations of the varieties or regional variations could be carried out.

 

The average protein content of conventionally grown samples of feed barley was 10.7 per cent which was lower than the average for the previous ten years (11.7 %). The protein content of organic feed barley was the same as that of conventionally grown. The starch content of conventionally grown feed barley samples was 61.9 per cent and it was on a higher level than the average for the previous ten years (61.0 %). The starch content of organic feed barley was 61.5 per cent. The share of shrivelled grains of conventionally grown feed barley samples was at the same level as the previous year, which means that on average 2.6 per cent of the grains in the samples passed through a 2 mm sieve and 8.1 per cent of the grains in the samples passed through a 2.2 mm sieve.

We received samples of 43 varieties of conventionally grown feed barley. The most common varieties were Akusti and Brage, which accounted for 9 percent each of the samples. We received organic feed barley samples of six different varieties; Arra, Einar, Elmeri, Jyvä, Streif and Wolmari.

 

The estimated yield of conventionally grown feed barley was on average 4200 kg per hectare (variation 1600-7000 kg/ha). The highest average estimate of yield per hectare came from South Ostrobothnia with 4720 kg and the lowest came from Central Finland with 3690 kg. The highest estimated yield of the conventionally grown varieties was that of Brage with 4900 kg per hectare. Toria and Streif also produced a yield above average (over 4500 kg/ha). The varieties Vilde and Wolmari produced a smaller harvest, and the hectolitre weights were also lower. The estimated yield per hectare of organic feed barley was almost half of that of conventionally grown barley at 1900 kg.

 

MALTING BARLEY QUALITY  

As to the quality criteria for malting barley, only the barley varieties recommended for malting (Panimolaboratorio Oy) were used. There were only a few samples of organic malting barley, and they will not be discussed here due to the few results obtained. The quality criteria for malting barley were a protein content with a variation of 9-11.5 per cent and a grain size where 85 per cent of the grains in the sample is larger than 2.5 mm. These quality criteria were obtained in 55 per cent of the conventionally grown samples, which is more than the previous year. There were problems with both protein content (usually too low) and grain size. Harbinger was the variety with the best performance, as 77 per cent of the samples attained the quality criteria. Of the samples of NFC Tipple 67 per cent attained the quality criteria, but only about 40 per cent of the Fairytale and Barke samples attained the quality criteria. Estimated by region, the best quality samples of malting barley came from Uusimaa, where 76 per cent attained the quality criteria. The samples of malting barley from Southwest Finland were the poorest, as only 39 per cent attained the quality criteria.

 

The average protein content of the malting barley was 10.3 per cent. Of the samples of malting barley 73 per cent had a protein content of 9-11.5 per cent and the grain size was adequate in 72 per cent of the samples. The hectolitre weight of malting barley was 70.1 kg, which is above average for the previous ten years (68.0 kg). The average starch content was 63.2 which is higher than for the last fifteen years.

 

We received malting barley samples of six different varieties, mainly the Barke variety (36 %). The next most common varieties were Harbinger, NFC Tipple and Fairytale. The average estimated yield of malting barley was 3600 kg per hectare (variation 600-6500 kg/ha). The average yield estimate was highest in Häme at 4440 kg and lowest in Southwest Finland at 2900 kg per hectare. Of the different varieties, Harbinger attained the highest average yield estimate, 4070 kg per hectare and the lowest was NFC Tipple.

 

MATERIAL

In 2015, Evira sent out requests for samples for the monitoring of the grain harvest to about 1 600 farms and requests for organic grain samples to 250 farms. The farms were selected for the quality monitoring from the farming and horticultural register of the Natural Resources Institute (Luke) using a sampling method. The same farms were part of Luke’s yield survey (6600 farms in total). Based on the information on the plots in the sampling it was verified that cereals were cultivated on the farm during this past growing season. Regional coverage was taken into consideration when making the selections. Farms with less than five hectares of cultivated fields were not part of the sampling. It was requested that the samples be sent to Evira by the end of October.

Conventionally grown samples were received from 28 per cent of the farms in the sampling. A total of 1098 samples were received by the closing date from farms of varying sizes, 351 of which were oats, 342 barley, 219 spring wheat, 85 malting barley, 58 rye and 43 samples were winter wheat.

The percentage of farms that sent in organic grain samples to the quality monitoring was 24. A total of 118 samples were received and 60 of these were oats, 13 barley, 11 spring wheat, 5 malting barley, 24 rye and 5 were samples of winter wheat.

 

Related topics

Sample survey of cereals - Distribution of samples (pdf, 454 Kb)

Evira and Luke Grain Quality

 24.2.2016

Grain quality monitoring charts 2015

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Medium grain quality by region

Medium grain quality by variety