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Frontrunner - 11th July 2024

US 2024 wheat production looks set to be the largest for five years as winter wheat harvest progresses at a fast pace and the spring wheat condition continues to improve.

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased its total 2024-25 US wheat crop estimate up to 51 million tonnes which, if realised, will be the biggest crop since 2019 when US farmers harvested over 52 million tonnes.

The USDA weekly US crop progress report put the winter wheat harvest at 63% complete, which is up from 54% the previous week and well ahead of this time last year when only 43% had been combined. The spring wheat condition improved three points - now up to 75% rated 'good/excellent' which is well ahead of last year's 47%.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell.

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Frontrunner - 4th July 2024

June saw a significant decline in wheat prices. Futures prices had peaked at the end of May due to concerns over Russian wheat production for 2024. As these fears eased and prospects for other major wheat producers improved, managed money traders sold heavily.

Consequently, US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures lost 25% of their value. On the last day of June, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported increased wheat and corn stocks compared to the previous year - corn planting is ahead of last year, adding to the bearish sentiment.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell.

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  668 Hits

Frontrunner - 27th June 2024

Wheat futures markets have continued to fall as crop concerns ease and demand remains uncertain. Speculative managed funds trading the US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat market were sellers again on Tuesday for the seventeenth time in the last 19 trading days. This has left the December CBOT position at its lowest since 15th March 2024 and just 16 cents away from the lowest point so far this year.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  620 Hits

Frontrunner - 20th June 2024

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures continued to fall sharply this week, only pausing mid-week when US markets closed for a public holiday. By end-of-trade on Tuesday, the December 2024 position had fallen to its lowest since 22nd April, marking an 18% fall in value from the recent peak on 28th May.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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  690 Hits

Frontrunner - 13th June 2024

Global wheat markets continued to fall earlier in the week. US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures dropped for the ninth consecutive day on Monday, reaching their lowest levels since early May and marking a 14% decline in value since the recent peak at the end of May.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate.

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  869 Hits

Frontrunner - 6th June 2024

This week, Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) ended Tuesday 14 cents down, posting its fifth consecutive lower close.

Upbeat US crop condition weighed on the US market, despite a wealth of international trade activity. European markets maintained their value as France proved successful in capturing market share in international trade.

US winter wheat condition improved by one point, increasing to 49% of the area rated 'good/excellent' which is still notably ahead of last year's 36%. 83% is headed which is up on the average 78%. The US wheat harvest is underway with 6% complete, double the pace this time last year and the average.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope.

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  711 Hits

Frontrunner - 30th May 2024

French 2024 wheat futures have hit their highest levels since November 2022, driven by further downgrades in Russia's 2024 wheat harvest potential.

While UK and US markets observed a public holiday on Monday, the Paris market surged by nearly 3%. The Russian Grain Union reported frost damage which affected potentially two million hectares. The Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, IKAR, further reduced its Russian wheat production estimate to 81.5 million tonnes, down from 83.5 million tonnes. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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Frontrunner - 23rd May 2024

Further cuts to Russian 2024 wheat production estimates and concerns for Ukraine output have reignited speculative buying interest, sending futures markets higher and setting new recent highs. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat rose to its highest since August 2023 and French wheat futures to their highest since February 2023, whilst London futures struggled to match the pace as sterling continued to appreciate versus the euro.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  811 Hits

Frontrunner - 16th May 2024

Last Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its first grain balance sheet estimates for next season.

World wheat production is seen higher by 10.5 million tonnes on the year to a total of 798.19 million tonnes, but corn will be lower by eight million tonnes to a total of 1.22 billion tonnes. Increases in consumption for both wheat and corn see stocks falling by 4.2 million tonnes and 800,000 tonnes respectively by the end of next season.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  1086 Hits

Frontrunner - 9th May 2024

After a sluggish start to the year, wheat prices experienced a remarkable turnaround in the last days of April, surging to multi-month highs. Speculative funds, which had previously driven prices lower by building record short positions in wheat futures markets, reversed their stance.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by Marketing Assistant, Becca Russell. 

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  894 Hits

Crop nutrition considerations for maize

Earlier this year, we published a blog about the benefits of growing maize in your 2024 rotation and how the crop can deliver a gross margin equal to a first wheat. We mentioned the positive market opportunities for home-grown maize and the Sustainable Farming Incentive actions that could be incorporated with the crop.

In light of the challenging weather we've faced this winter and early spring, maize could be a great alternative cropping option. Whilst maize can be a very successful crop, it will need looking after just like any cereal crop. In this blog, we'll be highlighting what you can do nutrition-wise to ensure your maize crop receives the boost it needs early on to perform well further down the line. 

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  732 Hits

Late nitrogen management

If you read my recent blog, you'll be fully informed of how to check the nutrition status of your crop. Attention now turns to final nitrogen applications which will need to be as efficient as possible to make up for this seasons low levels of soil nitrogen.

Your crop requires as much support as possible right now and in this blog I'll be guiding you through the techniques you could implement to ensure this.

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  843 Hits

Frontrunner - 2nd May 2024

Last week, speculative fund short covering took UK wheat futures to their highest levels in 2024 so far. Prolonged dryness and temperatures in the high 20s across much of southern Russia and east Ukraine were the primary price drivers.

However, cooler temperatures and rain over the weekend means buyers have taken a step back and sellers are keen to take advantage of these attractive prices – this has taken markets lower again.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  785 Hits

Frontrunner - 25th April 2024

In an eventful week for the wheat markets, speculative fund short-covering spurred a sharp ascent, propelling London November 2024 wheat futures past £200/t - their highest level since 10th January. Geopolitical tensions and weather fluctuations initially fuelled the surge, although values retraced mid-week. Escalating missile attacks on the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa by Russia over the weekend, coupled with the US government's proposed $61 billion support for Ukraine's war efforts against Russia, prompted speculative funds to reduce their near-record short positions in global agricultural futures markets.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  952 Hits

Frontrunner - 18th April 2024

Last week's United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report brought minimal shifts in the global wheat landscape. While world wheat production saw a slight increase to 787.36 million tonnes and consumption rose marginally to 800.1 million tonnes, end stocks dipped to 258.27 million tonnes. Notably, the adjustments made for India hint at a potentially bullish scenario for world wheat markets.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell.

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  1004 Hits

Crop nutrition check – preparing for year ahead

Following on from a previous blog about early nutrition strategies, unfortunately due to continued wet weather there has been limited opportunity to complete many field applications. For some, this has been very 'stop/start'. For others, it's been absolutely impossible to get out in the field.

Many of you will be looking for guidance on how to manage the impacts this is having on farm. Let's look at some pointers on how to keep an eye on crop nutrient health as we enter into a period of peak applications and big biomass growth.

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  875 Hits

Frontrunner - 11th April 2024

The latest weekly crop condition and progress report from the US highlights a positive outlook for production potential. Winter wheat maintained a steady condition, seen 56% 'good/excellent', which is unchanged on the week. However, this is significantly higher than the same period last year when just 27% of the crop was seen looking this well. Kansas is the number one producing state and edged one point higher on the week, to 49% 'good/excellent'.

Spring wheat and corn planting is off to a good start with the US spring wheat area 3% planted, as expected, up from 1% last week and last year, and unchanged from the five year average. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate.

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  960 Hits

Frontrunner - 4th April 2024

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented a bullish set of data before the Easter weekend and sent futures prices higher.

On 1st March, US wheat stocks were marginally higher than average expectations at 1.087 billion bushels versus 1.044 billion bushels. This was also up on last year which was 0.941 billion bushels.

The surprises for the market didn't come from the stocks though, rather it was the lower-than-expected 2024 US corn and US winter wheat prospective planted areas. Winter wheat is seen down to 34.135 million acres which is at the bottom end of trade guesses - these ranged from 34 million acres to 38.37 million acres and notably the Ag Forum estimated 34.425 million acres. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope.

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  1100 Hits

Frontrunner - 28th March 2024

World wheat futures markets enjoyed a short-lived price spike at the end of last week. Early on Monday, follow-through buying took Paris futures to their highest since 7th February and 22 euros above the contract low seen earlier this month. Prices rallied following the news that the largest private Russian grain exporter was in dispute with Russian authorities and was not being issued with the appropriate documentation to allow vessels loaded with grain to sail to their end destinations.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  1176 Hits

REMINDER: The new urea application rules for England are almost here

Many of you will be aware of the urea stewardship scheme due to come into force in England from 1st April 2024, however, for some there are still questions as to what the new regulations include.

Back in May 2023 when an early announcement was released about the rules, I outlined everything you needed to know. In this blog, I think some of that information is worthy of a recap, particularly why Defra is focused on the stewardship of urea fertilisers, as well as a reminder of what you need to do in certain scenarios to stay compliant with the regulations. 

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  1259 Hits

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