HGCA grain quality research call
A new research call from HGCA aims to lead to a better understanding of grain quality and help match the pace set by improvements in crop yields.
Dr Dhan Bhandari, HGCA Research and Knowledge Transfer Manger, explains: “Although the rate of varietal yield improvement has declined in recent years, quality still may lag behind if breeders and growers don’t have appropriate knowledge and tools at their disposal to measure and improve quality.
“Milling, malting, brewing and distilling industries regard grain quality as being extremely important, both in terms of the functionality of the grain and its consistency, and we consulted with these industries to identify the key challenges preventing growers from satisfying market demand for consistent quality grain.”
With a maximum budget of £300,000, available over three years, academic and research organisations are being asked to submit ideas to tackle a number of quality challenges in wheat and barley.
For wheat, consistent quality is the focus and the research community is asked to look at how to minimise grain size variability and starch damage, as well as furthering knowledge of the dough characteristics associated with soft wheat.
For barley, varietal improvement is the focus and the research community is asked to consider how to improve screening methods used to assess quality characteristics during breeding programmes.
The first deadline for research applicants is 7th August 2014, with projects expected to start as early as January 2015.