Advance information from Evira and Tike on the quality of the 2009 grain harvest: Protein content of the grain harvest is low


<p> <strong>A record-breaking crop of spring wheat was harvested this autumn. However, the quality of the harvest was weakened by its low protein content, which was at its lowest level in ten years. 82 per cent of the malting barley harvest exceeded the quality requirements for malting in terms of protein content and grain size. The exceptionally low protein content also decreased the malting-quality harvest. The quality of the feed grain crop was mainly good.</strong> </p>

A quarter of the wheat is of bread grain quality
This autumn saw a record-breaking wheat harvest that amounted to over 880 million kg, of which 242 million kg fulfilled the quality requirements set for bread wheat. 229 million kg were spring wheat and 13 million kg winter wheat. The average falling number and hectolitre weight of the wheat harvest were high. The protein content of the spring wheat was at a ten-year low.

The regional differences were great. In Southeastern Finland, Uusimaa and Southwestern Finland, 25 per cent or less of the spring wheat harvest was of bread grain quality, while in Häme this figure was 44 per cent and in Southern Ostrobothnia 86 per cent. Regional differences are partly due to cultivar selection: the dominant cultivars in Southern Finland are Kruunu and Zebra, which have an average protein level. In addition to Kruunu, the major cultivar in Southern Ostrobothnia is Anniina, which typically has a high protein content. The lower threshold for the protein content of milling-quality wheat is traditionally set at 12.5 per cent. Only a quarter of this autumn’s spring wheat harvest surpassed this threshold. If the protein requirement is lowered to 11.5 per cent, 66 per cent of the spring wheat fulfils milling-quality requirements.

The domestic rye harvest declined from last year’s figure of 60 million kg to 42 million kg. Half of the rye fulfilled the quality requirements set for bread grain. Only about a quarter of last year’s harvest was of bread grain quality. There were great quality differences in this year’s rye harvest. Although the average falling number was 150, almost half of the grain samples fell short of 120.

82 per cent of the malting barley is of malting quality
A record amount of the malting barley – 566 million kg or 91 per cent – fulfilled quality requirements, taking the sieving rate and a maximum protein content of 11.5 per cent into consideration. The protein content of close to a fifth of the harvest was under the lower limit for malting barley, 9 per cent. Of the malting barley harvest, 82 per cent fulfilled the quality requirements.

Hectolitre weight of feed grains is high, but their protein content is low
As much as 84 per cent of the 1.5 billion kg feed barley crop had a hectolitre weight of over 64 kg. The protein content was low, as was also the case last year.

94 per cent of the oat crop exceeded the 52-kg hectolitre minimum weight requirement generally used by the feed industry. 27 per cent exceeded the 58-kg hectolitre weight generally required for milling quality oats, less than last year. The quality of feed oats was uniformly good in Finland.

This information on the quality of the 2009 grain harvest is an advance estimate. A table of the final data on grain harvest quality will be published on 28 January 2010, combining Tike’s harvest statistics with the follow-up of grain quality carried out by Evira’s grain laboratory. Tike’s harvest survey includes about 5,800 farms. Evira monitors grain quality from 1,700 farms that are included in Tike’s harvest survey sample. Grain quality information from 410 farms was included in the advance information.

Grain quality 2009 - forecast 24.11.2009 (pdf, 94 kb)

For additional information, please contact:
Harvest information on the cereal crop
Researcher Anneli Partala, tel. 020 77 21 376
Researcher Mirva Kokkinen, tel. 020 77 21 371
Head of Unit Esa Katajamäki, tel. 020 77 21 237
Tike, Statistical Services
The e-mail addresses are in the format: firstname.lastname

Grain quality information
Head of Unit Mirja Kartio, tel. 020 77 25090
Senior Researcher Elina Sieviläinen, tel. 020 77 25092
Researcher Anne Mäittälä, puh. 020 77 25095
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Plant Analysis Laboratory
The e-mail addresses are in the format: firstname.lastname


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