How to increase wheat quality

Wheat quality targets will depend on the end user’s required specification e.g. livestock feed or milling for bread or biscuit flour.

The main traits to consider are grain protein, specific weight, Hagberg Falling Number (HFN) and starch content. 

Crop nutrition programmes have an impact on the quality of the harvested grain and should be planned according the targeted quality parameters. To achieve the highest value for the grain the grower often has to meet a combination of specifications.

Crop nutrition and wheat quality

Macronutrients for Wheat Grain Quality

Wheat Macronutrients

Nitrogen and Potassium are the most influential of the macronutrients on grain quality. Nitrogen is important for protein or starch content whilst potassium maintains the crop structure to prevent lodging that reduces Hagberg Falling numbers and specific weight.

Micronutrients for Wheat Grain Quality

Wheat Micronutrients

The secondary nutrients sulfur and magnesium influence grain protein and specific weight respectively, whilst the micronutrient zinc also helps nitrogen metabolism that improves grain protein concentrations.