How to Judge Wheat

Wheat Crop


A good sample will clean, have all plump grains of the same type, no sprouted grain and without weather damaged grain and frosted grain.

Protein Content

Protein percentage, measured using a NIR (near infrared) Reflectance Spectrometer, determines the end use of flour made from wheat. Higher protein level flour dough is more elastic and makes good bread. Lower protein level dough is often used for the production of biscuits.  

Freedom from disease/staining

Samples should be free from diseases, the most common disease in wheat grain is black point. 

Test weight

A set volume of grain is weighed and this weight shows how plump and heavy the grains are. The weight must fall within a set range.

Freedom from Harvest Injury

The proper set up of the harvester and all handling equipment will ensure grains are not broken or damaged.

Freedom from Pests

The presence of grain insects (alive or dead), field insects e.g. grasshoppers, locusts, or insect damaged grain in the sample is a serious fault. Samples containing snails or live grain eating insects are severely downgraded.

Millable Material

The percentage millable material indicates how much flour can be milled from this grain.


A clean sample will be free of common weed seeds e.g. rye grass, human made materials (e.g. pieces of metal, fertiliser, litter, string), and soil or rocks. This is achieved by growing weed free crops and proper set up the harvester. Samples of grain containing  chemicals used in seed treatment,  noxious weed seeds, such as wild oats, Mexican Poppy or weed seeds that omit a tainting odour such as saffron thistle and eucalyptus are severely penalised and usually rejected.

Appearance & Uniformity

In a good sample the individual grains must be of equal size and a regular shape. Grain colour should be bright and consistent through the sample.

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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