Good grain quality from disease control and seed treatment

11.12.2006

<div>Even though grain quality in the autumn of 2006 was better than average, both treated seeds and disease control had a positive effect on it. The effect on the hectolitre weight was especially obvious. On direct sown blocks the protein content of barley and oats was lower than on ploughed blocks. Direct sowing did not affect the hectolitre weight. The information is based on the material from the analysis of the quality of the grain harvest by Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira.</div>

The cultivation method had an effect on the hectolitre weight of the spring grains, with the exception of the oats. On blocks that were ploughed in spring the hectolitre weight was lower than on lightly cultivated, direct sown or autumn ploughed blocks. The difference varied per grain type from 0.7 kilograms for malting barley to nearly two kilograms for spring wheat. The differences between direct sowing, lightly cultivated soils and autumn ploughing were small.  

With both barley and oats the protein content of direct sown blocks was lower than on autumn ploughed blocks. The differences were 0.8 and 0.7 percentage points. Also on spring ploughed and lightly cultivated blocks the protein content was lower than on autumn ploughed blocks. In blocks sown with spring wheat, the ploughed blocks had somewhat higher protein content than the others, but the difference was not of statistical importance. With malting barley, the differences between different cultivation methods were minimal.

Treated seeds mainly had a positive effect on the hectolitre weight. The increase for oats was1.1 kilograms and for barley and spring wheat it was 1.3 kilograms. With oats and spring wheat the treated seeds increased the hectolitre weight with all of the cultivation methods. With barley on lightly cultivated soils and using direct sowing, the hectolitre weight was lower when using treated seeds. The treated seeds had no effect on the protein content of any grain type.

Also disease control increased the hectolitre weight, with the exception of spring wheat. With oats, disease control increased the hectolitre weight by 1.5 kilograms, with barley the increase was 1.2 kilograms and with malting barley 0.6 kilograms. The effect of the disease control was greater when using untreated seeds. The effect of the disease control was similar for all of the cultivation methods. For spring wheat the protein content was 0.7 percentage points higher on blocks, where disease control had been used. With other grains disease control was not noted to have had an effect on the protein content.

The hectolitre weights of both oats and barley increased with the yield level. In the lowest yield quartile the hectolitre weights were on average 54.7 and 66.6 kilograms, whilst they were 56.8 and 69.9 kilograms in the highest yield quartile. For malting barley the hectolitre weight was higher only in the highest quartile: 72.7 kilograms, and in the lower quartiles it was 72.0 kilograms. For spring wheat only the hectolitre weight (81.9 kg) in the lowest quartile differed from the others (82.7-83.1 kg).

For malting barley and barley the protein content was highest in the lowest yield quartile. In the highest yield quartile the protein content was somewhat higher than in the preceding quartile. With barley the differences were smaller than with malting barley. Also for spring wheat the protein content for the lowest yield quartile was the highest, but the contents of the other quartiles did not differ from each other. With oats, the yield level did not have an effect on the protein content.

 

For more information, please contact:
Director Mirja Kartio tel. +358 20 77 25090
Chief Inspector Juha Kärkkäinen tel. +358 20 77 25098
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Cereal Inspection Unit
The format of the e-mail addresses is: firstname.surname@evira.fi

 

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