Variable wheat quality is a problem that farmers have always had to keep a sturdy eye on.
After all, low-quality wheat can harm a farmer’s reputation and have a negative effect on wheat sales. Farms may be forced to lower their price in order to offload all their stock and, particularly in a recession, this is something which most rural businesses can ill-afford to do.
Nevertheless, wheat quality has become more of a pressing issue in recent times. The unpredictable weather has caused all sorts of havoc on harvests up and down the country for the last couple of years.
Not only have there been unmanageable amounts of floods throughout 2011/2012 but there has been prolonged periods of dryness. It really has been quite the couple of years. Both issues can have dramatic effects on the type of wheat produced by farmers.
The quality of wheat can be measured in a number of ways. The overall volume and density of the wheat grains themselves are arguably the most important factors, but farmers will also pay attention to their moisture and strength. The strength is measured by the Hagberg Falling Number, a figure produced by measuring how quickly a Hagberg steel ball takes to fall through wheat slurry.
Basic food products are only as good as the ingredients used to create them. All four of these qualities add up to make a measurable difference to the taste of wheat-based products. Farmers can guarantee better sales of wheat by guaranteeing a consistent harvest. However, as we’ve heard above, it’s easier said than done.
Improving wheat quality
A lot of farmers have described a feeling of helplessness as the weather dictates the profitability of their business. However, whilst they may always be at least partly at the mercy of external conditions, there are tools which farmers can buy to improve the quality of their wheat.
A high-quality dough mixing system, for example, could help make the best of a bad harvest. The Tweedy dough mixing machines have received a fair amount of rave reviews. These machines use a speedy mixing process using less protein and smaller batches in order to give dough less time to age. This can make all the difference to the quality of a loaf of bread.
There are plenty of innovations being made on other tools used in the harvest process and the bread making process. Scientists are always working on improvements on farming gadgets, from combine harvesters to dough dividers and ovens.
With the weather continuing to wreak havoc on British farms, investing in the latest technology could arguably be more vital than ever for ensuring that the quality of wheat-based products remains high. Even if their ingredients are iffy, farmers should be able to produce reasonable products by improving the quality of the tools they work with.
Innovation like this could be the key to consistent wheat quality in the future. Perhaps it’s time for your farm to consider investigating the new technology available.
Matthew Jones is a hotel management trainee. He has a keen interest in photography, snorkelling and other adventure games. Wide variety of foods thrills him the most as he has been a food critic since his college days. He plans to write a cookbook on exclusive recipes in the near future.
For more information visit: http://www.bakerperkinsgroup.com/