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UK crop quality, oilseed rape damage, sorghum research, Australian productivity

By Anna Bonar

- Last updated on GMT

UK barley shows low nitrogen levels but wheat quality remains a concern, crop damage has hit UK winter oilseed rape, Bill & Melinda Gates inject $14.5m into sorghum research, and Australia research investment to benefit crop productivity and profits.

Barley nitrogen content down, wheat quality poor

The average nitrogen content in UK barley has dropped but the protein quality in wheat remains problematic, according to the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The board published results from its cereal quality survey that looked at 26,000 barley samples and 71,000 wheat samples.

Findings indicate the average nitrogen content of British barley is the lowest since records began at an average content of 1.53%.

For wheat, there was a “slight deterioration in quality”​ – with the average protein factor limiting the number of grains meeting milling specifications, the AHDB said.

Crop damage to winter oilseed rape

Cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) has damaged large cropping areas of winter oilseed rape across the UK, according to a report from the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).

Losses were estimated at 3.2% with the majority impact felt in South East and Eastern counties in the UK, it said.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants $14.5m to self-reproducing sorghum research

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial research organisation has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The $14.5m grant will fund a five-year project to develop self-reproducing sorghum crops. The aim is to improve productivity and incomes for small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Australian Grain Growers research injection

The Australian Grain Growers research association will benefit hugely from a A$11m cash injection into the country’s research and development sector.

The association has teamed up with New South Wales’ Department of Primary Industries to establish 18 research officer positions in key cropping areas.

The move should help growers boost productivity and profitability.

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