Cereal Quality Survey

The Cereal Quality Survey is an annual survey looking at the key parameters of wheat and barley quality for the most recent harvest.


  • The final Cereal Quality Survey results for harvest 2019/20 are now available. For the full tables of results use the link at the side of this page. For an explanation of the results and for the wheat quality diagrams expand the sections below.
  • Quality for wheat is generally lower than last season; however, with a large wheat crop, availability of milling wheat is greater. That said, there are anecdotal concerns that both gluten quality and grain hardness are lower year-on-year, further reducing the functionality of this season’s crop.
  • For barley, quality has generally held up this season. Malting premiums are at low levels driven by the large availability of barley both domestically and in the EU. Specific weight is generally lower than a year ago, and screenings higher.


The final results of the Cereal Quality Survey for 2019 continue to highlight the challenge of a wet finish to harvest. The proportion of nabim Group 1 wheat samples meeting a full milling specification (Specific weight – 76Kg/hl, Protein – 13%, HFN – 250s) has fallen to 42%, one percentage point below the same point last year.

Despite the drop in quality on the year, availability is likely to be higher given the comparative sizes of this year’s wheat crop (16.3Mt) versus last year (13.6Mt).

Anecdotal reports suggest that as well as overall quality being down year-on-year, further performance aspects of the crop are reduced. Both gluten strength and grain hardness are reduced year-on-year.

Unsurprisingly, given the nature of the UK harvest there is a divide in quality between the earlier harvest southern crop and the later harvested northern and Scottish wheat. Hagberg Falling Number in Scotland have averaged just 190s, while North and Midlands HFN have averaged 265s and 263s respectively.

Given the disparity between the quality of crops in the North versus the South, and the large availability of wheat in the south, it is likely that milling wheat in southern England while maintain a healthy discount to Northern and Scottish delivered prices.

Samples – 10,955

For barley, the final results for 2019 show vastly reduced spring barley nitrogen versus year ago levels. This is hardly surprising given the impact of last year’s drought on the malting crop.

Malting quality has generally been positive, which combined with the large barley crop has pressured domestic malting premiums to their lowest levels since 2013.

Screenings are marginally higher year-on-year for spring barley, a possible reflection of the smaller grain sizes seen this season.

Samples – 11,999

Cereal Quality Calculator

This clever tool lets you see the relationship between the three markers for wheat quality – Hagberg falling number, specific weight and protein content. You can explore the data by selecting different groups, varieties or areas, as well as changing the specified ranges of the quality markers.

Additional information

The calculator shows three overlapping circles with a number in each section. Each number relates to the percentage of the overall sample that falls within the range of each quality marker. As a default, it is set to show the current year's results for nabim group one. For further information please refer to our Cereals Quality Calculator guide below.

Cereal Quality Calculator guide