Red Wheat Contracts and Marketing
Since the 2003 harvest, Premium Crops has supplied regional and national millers with UK grown AC Barrie. In 2009 HOVIS wanted their entire bread range to be produced from 100% UK grown Wheat, which meant they needed to replace the 20% of Canadian grown Red Wheat normally included in the grist.
As AC Barrie was the most widely imported Canadian Red Wheat, it was an easy switch for HOVIS to use UK grown equivalent. HOVIS approached Premium Crops to put Red wheat contracts in place.
Newer higher yielding varieties like Infinity and, now, Faller have replaced AC Barrie.
UK grown Red Wheat is equal to the quality of imported Red wheat.
Compared to Class 1 varieties it is:
- typically 4% higher Protein
- typically 4 kg/hl heavier
- typically 50 points higher HFN
An analysis of all the samples from the 2003 to 2017 harvests has shown an:
- average Protein of 16.76%
- average HFN of 351
- average Specific Weight of 80.40 kg/hl
Over the same period,over 98% of lots passed for milling - this is reliability far higher than any other wheats.
Red Wheat quality results from 2017 were equally as good, with proteins averaging 17%, habergs 352 and specific weights 77.6.
The basic specifications for UK grown Red Wheat are:
- Protein - basis 15%
- Hagberg - basis 250
- Specific Weight - basis 76kg/hl
- Screenings - basis 2%
- Admixture - max 2%
- Moisture - max 15%
- Red wheat contracts are for the "produce of the area" and cover the whole produce of areas sown. This ensures no risks of default for growers
- All growers to be members of a recognised Assurance Scheme
All Red Wheat is contract grown and the terms will vary each season to reflect the wheat market and to ensure that the crop remains competitive with other Spring options. Prices have typically been based on a premium over HGCA quoted UK or Canadian Red wheat prices for transparency.
Growers should budget on 3.9 t/ha although regular growers achieve considerably more than this – 5t/ha is quite common.
The highest Red Wheat yield to date was from a late March sown crop at 7.76 mt/ha. This produced a gross output of well over £2000/ha!