English wheat yields down as much as 10% HGCA has confirmed that there will be less home-grown high-quality wheat on the market than in previous years. Following one of the most difficult growing seasons in years, English yields have dropped by as much as 10%, according to DEFRA. The predicted reduction of 3 million tonnes on harvest 2000 has caused concern in the cereals industry. Rupert Somerscales, economist at HGCA, said: "Grain quality has been much less affected than yield. "It's clear from our final survey results that quality this season has generally been reasonable, but with some variations across the country, from poor to excellent. "Some areas were harder hit than others. Parts of northern England suffered from poor weather during harvest, causing falling Hagbergs. The eastern region also showed a marked decline in overall specific weight values. "Quality results also varied significantly according to crop variety. Some of the most popular varieties such as Claire, Malacca and Equinox ­ which together have up to 40% market share of seed certifications ­ suffered most from a drop in specific weights." Hagberg falling numbers ­ one of the most important criteria for bread-making quality ­ fell as harvest progressed and are around 50 seconds lower than last year. Spring varieties such as Chablis and Paragon performed best against this aspect of quality, with values of 340 and 344 seconds respectively. In contrast, protein content levels were generally higher this year. {{CANNED GOODS }}