Crop quality exceeds expectations


PROTEIN levels are on the decline in cereal crops as headers continue to push south, but overall wheat and barley quality has been solid down the east coast according to GrainCorp operations manager Nigel Lotz.

Mr Lotz said with the northern harvest getting close to completion, protein levels in wheat crops in Queensland and northern NSW had been good.

Further to the south, he said the wet spring had not necessarily damaged protein levels in areas such as western and north-western NSW.

“There was a lot of crop grown on long fallow, there was nitrogen put out and these things have both helped boost protein levels.”

The lowest protein levels on the east coast are being recorded in southern NSW and Victoria, although little wheat has been harvested in Victoria as yet according to Mr Lotz.

He said while protein levels may be down due to the cool finish in these areas, GrainCorp still expected the vast majority of wheat harvested to make milling wheat classifications unless there was a further weather event to downgrade grain.

In terms of the barley black tipping event that had caused controversy in Victoria previously, Mr Lotz said GrainCorp had no special segregations for weather damaged barley as yet and with barley coming in through northern Victoria said he did not think at this stage the company would need one.

“That does not necessarily mean there is none about, but it means that it is not hitting our system, perhaps farmers with barley with some visual staining are keeping that in their on-farm storages.”

“We are aware of the issue and we are monitoring the situation but at this stage we have not needed to put in a new segregation for off-specification barley.”

He said the company was also pleased with the quality of the chickpeas it had been receiving in its northern zones.

“Again, it may have been a case of the weather damaged chickpeas not hitting our system, but we have seen good quality in the receivals into our network.”

While the Queensland crop being of good quality is no surprise, it was feared wet weather and fungal disease such as botrytis grey mould, may have impacted on chickpeas in NSW.


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