Good quality domestic grain harvest in 2013

28.11.2013

<p>The oats harvest in 2013 was the biggest in a decade, but shrivelled grains and mycotoxins impaired its quality. The total yield of winter grains remained low, due to the wet conditions in the previous autumn taxing the areas sown. The hectolitre weight of barley was good. The preliminary data from the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira and Tike (Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) indicate that the quality of the domestic harvest for bread and feed grains in 2013 was good.</p>

The wheat harvest in 2013 was similar in volume to the year before, but better in quality. Of the autumn’s 888-million-kilo wheat crop, 506 million kilos were at least 78 kilos in hectolitre weight, with a falling number of at least 180 and minimum protein content of 12.5 per cent. Of the crop, 844 million kilograms was spring wheat and only 44 million kilos winter wheat.

The average falling number of spring-sown wheat remained high (339) thanks to good threshing weather conditions. The average protein content was 13.0 per cent. However, one-third of the samples failed to reach the target protein content of 12.5 per cent.

The quality of the spring wheat crop was lower than average in Uusimaa and South-East Finland. The regional differences are partly explained by the choice of variety. The quality of the variety ‘Kruunu’ was the lowest this year.

The total yields of winter grains were low, due to the sown areas remaining small because of the wet conditions in the autumn 2012 and in addition the winter losses suffered by the grain crops. The 27-million-kilo rye harvest was the lowest in more than a decade. The rye quality monitoring parameters are a hectolitre weight of 71 kilos and falling number of 120, which were fulfilled by 71 per cent of the rye crop. The average falling number of rye was 162, which is lower than in three previous years.

Quarter of oats samples contained mould toxins

The average hectolitre weight of oats, 56.1 kilos, was almost two kilos lower than last year, but better than the long-term average. Of the oats crop, 92 per cent or 1,126 million kilos exceeded the minimum requirement of a 52-kilo hectolitre weight set for quality monitoring. The limit for oats for human consumption is a hectolitre weight of 58 kilograms. This was exceeded by only one-third of the crop or 380 million kilos, while last year the corresponding figure was no less than 680 million kilos.

The proportion of shrivelled grains for oats was 7.5 per cent. This is below the average for the last ten years. The poorest oats harvest on record was in 2010, when shrivelled grains accounted for as much as 12.2 per cent.

Measured by quick analysis, a quarter of the oats samples exceeded the deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin content of 1.75 mg/kg, which is the limit set for oats for human consumption. There was a lot of regional variation. In oats grown in Central Finland, South and North Savo and North Ostrobothnia, the greatest risk was that the limit for human consumption was exceeded.

Malting barley yield at 2012 level

Of the malting barley harvest, 69 per cent or about 284 million kilos fulfilled the quality criteria applied by the malting industry with regard to sorting and protein content. The crop quality was good, as the average protein content was low (below 11.5 per cent) and grain size was large. Evira’s quality monitoring does not include malting barley germination rates.

Hectolitre weight of feed barley adequate

Of the barley harvest, 79 per cent or 1,200 million kilograms exceeded 64 kilos in hectolitre weight. The average hectolitre weight of 64.9 kilos was better than in three previous years. The protein content of the feed barley remained low.

Background to data

The data on the grain crop quality for 2013 are still preliminary at this stage. The grain yield quality table based on finalised data will be published on 11 February 2014. The table will combine grain yield quantities from Tike’s crop statistics and Evira’s grain crop quality monitoring data on the 2013 grain harvest. The preliminary data of Tike’s crop statistics are based on the crop data from about 2,900 farms, grain samples of about 400 of which were analysed in Evira’s grain quality monitoring scheme.

Related topics
Evira.fi > Plants > Cultivation and Production > Cereals > Statistics about the quality > Grain quality 2013
Table: Grain quality 2013 - forecast 28.11.2013 (pdf, 200 kB)


Additional information
Data on grain crops
Tike, Statistical Services
Anneli Partala, Researcher, t. +358 (0)295 313 145
E-mail addresses firstname.lastname@mmmtike.fi

Data on grain quality
Evira, Plant Analysis Unit
Elina Sieviläinen, Senior Researcher, t. +358 (0)40 848 6094
Anne Mäittälä, Researcher, t. +358 (0)40 740 1300
Mirja Kartio, Head of Unit, t. +358 (0)40 534 5510
E-mail addresses firstname.lastname@evira.fi

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