The grain season-2019/20 can be certainty called as non-standard for Russia. Traditionally, the market is expecting for the growth of the harvested grain volumes, but everyone is automatically ready for worsening of its qualitative indicators. Summing up the results of the spring 2019, it was possible to reasonably forecast the increase of the general production volumes, which is confirmed by the current almost final results. Taking into account the qualitative indicators of the harvest, we can note the increase of the average level of protein content, which was not included in the concept of the original market forecasts. However, first things first, and in relation to each region of the Russian Federation, respectively.
The weather conditions during the period of crops growing made the determining influence on the quality of the current harvest. Thus, the rapid change of temperature and the heat in Stavropol Krai in June 2019 significantly catalyzed the ripening processes and affected the further changes in both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of grain crops in the region, as well as rains in Rostov oblast during the last stage of crops ripening had its significant impact on the level of gluten.
In the current season, grains in the southern region were quite diversified in terms of the qualitative features, and the most smooth level was demonstrated in the Crimea and Krasnodar Krai.
Nevertheless, the increase of the average protein level compared with the harvest-2018, became one of the general characteristics. The trend became most significant on the territory of Stavropol Krai, where 3-grade wheat formed the major share in the harvested grain volumes. Generally, in the southern region the level of the indicator in the majority of grain batches varied within the range of 12-14.5%. As a result, the market faced the deficit of supply of feed wheat, which is usually required for both realization of direct contracts with limitations on sprouting, and raw material for formation of the shipping lots.
In terms of the increasing level of protein content, it is expected to observe the growth of the average level of gluten, through ISO 21415-2 method. Nevertheless, the indicator should be treated very carefully, especially while working by the State Standard (GOST) method, because in some cases, there were observed the unexpected low values on the basis of the usual correlations from the protein basis (for example, some raions of Stavropol Krai). It bears evidence to the incomplete transition of inorganic forms of nitrogen into organic ones.
The rheological characteristics of milling wheat (W) met all requirements for the baking industry. As for most grain lots, the figures varied within the last year range of 170-250 J10-4. It is worth noting that the ratio of the indicator to the level of protein became slightly lower compared with last year.
Within frames of the milling properties, it is worth paying attention to decreasing of the p/l index (resistance to extension of the dough), which in many lots varied within 0.7-1.2, which will be positively met by the final buyers of Russian wheat.
The weather factor also influenced on the decline of the average value of the specific weight of the grain, and despite the fact that the grain lots with the level of 77-78 kg/hl were quite sufficient throughout the region, and there were grains with low specific weight, which are extremely difficult to use for formation of lots, despite the high protein content.
In most cases, the index of "falling number" did not give cause for concern, and varied within the range of 270-420 c. Nevertheless, at the territory of Stavropol Krai there were the lots with the low level indicator.
Despite the clear growth of protein levels, the average values of milling properties remained almost at the last year level.
The qualitative features in the reporting region were very different from one raions to another. Thus, in Volgograd oblast on the border with Rostov oblast there were observed good milling properties, and wheat with protein content of 12.6% had the average value of W at 220. Generally, Volgograd and Penza oblasts demonstrated the best results, where 4-grade wheat formed the major share of the harvested grain. The average protein level in the whole Volga-Ural region showed the downward dynamics to 12.55%, as opposed to 13.07% last year.
In the current season, there was slight decrease in the level of grains damaged by corn-bug in Volgograd oblast, but this is not the most important thing. Despite the noticeable presence of damaged grains, in most grain lots there were acceptable rheological characteristics of the dough, which indicated a possible bite at the later stages of vegetation.
Central Black Earth region
Heavy rains in the region made a noticeable impact on the quality of the current harvest, which was similar to the situation last season. It is worth noting that agrarians managed to harvest some part of the crop before beginning of the rainy weather, and as a result, the region demonstrated grain lots of stable 3- and 4-grade wheat with the level of falling number at 300 c and above. Unfortunately, the harvested grains after the period of rains were seriously damaged, and especially it is necessary to pay attention to Lipetsk oblast. Generally, in the region the figures varied within the range of 62-378, including 30-35% of the grain lots with falling number below 150 c.
In the region, the level of protein somewhat increased, while the general level of gluten lowered, as well as the rheological characteristics of flour — the W index.
The range of "the specific weight of grain” in the mass of the analyzed samples totaled 67.2-83.6 kg/hl.
Despite a slight decrease in the average level of moisture content, in Siberia there were observed the lots with the reduced level of falling number. The indicator "natural weight" mainly varied within the range of 77-80 kg/hl.
Thus, Russia in the current season offers quite interesting harvest of wheat by its characteristics — both in quantitative and qualitative features.
Irina Sarycheva, Customer relations and regulatory compliance manager at
the Agricultural department of JSC SGS Vostok Limited (SGS Group)