Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Market report - 4th June 2020

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Cooler, wetter weather in the UK has brought some welcome relief to crops which, as a result, has brought out a few sellers. However, the UK will still need to import substantial quantities of rapeseed into the UK next season.

For 2019, rapeseed markets were mainly supply driven but, since the Covid-19 crisis, we've seen the collapse in demand for mineral oils and rapeseed oil as a result of the lockdowns imposed on industries that would ordinarily need these products. Typically, in the EU, 60% of the demand for rapeseed oil goes into biofuels, with the rest into the food service industry.

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Black-grass management pre-harvest

Black-grass

Black-grass is major problem on many UK farms and it is now widely accepted that fully integrated solutions to manage the weed are fundamental to achieving any kind of success. Ultimately, most approaches are aimed at limiting seed return in order to reduce the overall population pressure.

In this blog, I discuss a number of management options that should be considered pre-harvest to reduce seed return and which should form part of an overall, long term plan to eradicate the weed.

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Market report - 15th January 2019

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As sterling continues to fall, ex farm rapeseed prices in the UK remain supported. Markets are also seeing strong demand from crushers for the winter period as vegetable oil markets continue to find good support.

This week will also see the 'phase one' agreement between the US and China as part of their ongoing trade deal negotiations. However, as Brazilian soybeans are currently cheaper than the US, it is unlikely that China will switch supply unless there is a significant increase in demand. 

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Spring crop switch? Seeking information now will increase options

flooded-soils

We've experienced a quite extraordinary start to the cropping year and as I look at news reports showing land under water I can only imagine the extent of the challenges being faced by some farmers. By now, in England, most would have hoped to finish drilling never mind not even started in some cases.

Understandably and economically getting a winter cereal crop is still the goal right up to February, depending on the variety, for those who can. However, for some that ship has already sailed and a new 'Plan B' will be the reality. For many, even those not so dramatically affected, some change of cropped area is underway with a shift towards spring crops inevitable. 

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Market report - 14th August 2019

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​ Markets fall following USDA corn and wheat predictions Another USDA report has been and gone without providing any fodder for the bulls. Instead, the report shocked the market by increasing the US corn and wheat output and markets tumbled to lower limits by close of play on Monday. The biggest surprises were the acreage and yields for corn. The a...
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Removing straw: calculating the cost of replacing lost nutrients

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Last harvest, the prolonged hot weather greatly affected grass growth across the UK and caused a shortage of silage for many livestock farmers. To help meet demand, the majority of growers were baling their straw after harvest but, as explained in my blog at the time , this led to many questions about the impact on nutrient off take.  This yea...
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Midweek market report - 31st July 2019

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Harvest halted by poor weather as markets react to fluctuating currency With the UK wheat harvest underway, our domestic market this week has been dominated by sterling volatility and patchy weather. At the weekend, the new UK Prime Minister signalled the real possibility of a no-deal Brexit which rattled currency markets and caused sterling to dro...
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Not all grain pools are the same

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Selling via pools helps to take away some of the risk associated with trading in an open market. They can form a key part of your grain marketing strategy and are a sensible option at a time when so many factors are impacting prices. Committing to a grain pool, however, requires some considerable thought. Before you enter into a contract with a mer...
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Market report - 25th October 2018

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World markets US wheat futures have traded down to six-week lows. This is partly due to poor US export figures but, for the most part, is lead by politics. A two-month high in the US dollar is weighing on US wheat, as are falling equity and crude oil markets. A number of weather issues have been impacting grain markets but these are now well accoun...
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Post-maize opportunities

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Over the last five-to-six years, it's been clear to see an ever-increasing area of maize being grown across the UK. Maize has a number of production uses but the most notable are bio-gas and forage. With so many now taking on the crop and due to the nature of which it is grown, it's important to consider careful management while it's in the ground ...
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Market report - 24th September 2018

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World markets: Chicago wheat futures closed slightly lower on Friday but still showed a net gain of 2% on the week. After starting lower early last week, wheat fought back with gains driven by more bad weather in Australia and rising black sea prices. The US spring wheat harvest is nearly finished, now at 97% complete and winter wheat plantings are...
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What to do now as we approach the beet lifting season?

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Crop differences Planting of the 2018 beet crop was delayed by wet soils, with most crops going into the ground in April. Ironically, what happened next was then dependent on whether or not the seedbed had sufficient moisture for establishment. Some crops had good levels of moisture and warmth to set a good plant stand and grow away quickly to cove...
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Market report - 18th September 2018

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World markets: US wheat futures continued to slide yesterday. The fund sell off that started with the USDA report last Wednesday night has continued into the start of this week, keeping the negative tone in wheat markets. The trade war between the US and China has returned to the headlines, as President Trump imposes new tariffs on the equivalent o...
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Market report - 13th September 2018

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World markets: US wheat dropped sharply after yesterday's United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report; corn numbers were the biggest driver in grains and the numbers were very bearish. US corn yields were raised to 181.3 bushels per acre which was well above the trade's estimates. Eight states were seen as producing record yields and this...
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The value of straw

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This blog was first featured as an article in the September issue of Three Counties Farmer With the frailties of an uncertain future post-Brexit combined with severe weather conditions across the UK, farmers are being brought even closer together to combat the difficulties we now face. The NFU called for arable farmers to bale all of their straw th...
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Don’t lose sight of tuber blight management in the run-up to harvest of stored maincrops

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2018 has thrown a range of challenges at potato growers and agronomists, such that blight control has increasingly taken a back seat as the season has progressed. It will be no surprise to anyone that data now shows that soil moisture has been widely yield-limiting due to the unusually high rates of evapotranspiration, even where irrigation was clo...
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Market report - 4th September 2018

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World Markets: The US was closed yesterday for their Labor Day holiday, but traded lower on the overnight session following news from Russia that counteracted last week's ideas of export restrictions. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday that they do not consider it necessary to introduce export duties or restrictions but they are con...
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Market report - 3rd September 2018

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World Markets: US wheat started last week lower, pressured by funds exiting long positions in wheat. However, midweek saw some support come back into the market, lifting it to a higher close over the week. The lift came from Russia's announcement to cap wheat exports at 25 million tonnes and an all-grains total of 30 million tonnes. The USDA curren...
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What’s the impact of removing straw?

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While rain has now fallen in most regions, the recent hot weather has significantly impacted grass growth meaning, unfortunately, many dairy farmers will be heading into the winter with a shortage of silage. As has been well publicised over recent weeks, many farmers are baling their straw to help their colleagues with cattle. But what impact does ...
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Market report - 29th August 2018

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World Markets US wheat has been falling sharply this week. Yesterday, losses were smaller but direction was still downwards. US funds had built up significant long positions in Chicago wheat and have been selling heavily to reduce these longs. Australia had some rain over the weekend which can only be a good thing, although there are mixed reports ...
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