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Removing straw: calculating the cost of replacing lost nutrients

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 year...

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Midweek market report - 31st July 2019

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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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Don’t lose sight of tuber blight management in the run-up to harvest of stored maincrops

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

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

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?

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

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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Market report - 14th August 2018

 World Markets US wheat fell yesterday following the negative impact of Friday's bearish USDA report. The USDA was expected to reduce global wheat production significantly in light of numerous downgrades from other regions over recent weeks. In the end, global wheat production was revised on Friday evening but only down by 6.6 million mt. Aust...

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Market report - 8th August 2018

World Markets US wheat closed slightly lower yesterday, seeing some profit after the recent strong gains. The US winter wheat harvest was put at 90% complete in this week's crop update and spring harvest 13% cut, with ratings down 4% on last week at 74% good to excellent. Corn ratings were seen to decline by 1% to 71% good to excellent, versus 60% ...

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Are you thinking about companion crops?

​Well, harvest is flying! Crops are in the barn much earlier than usual which gives us more time to think about how best to tackle oilseed rape establishment. However, that's not all there is to start planning. Some growers are using this extra time to contemplate companion crops and how they can help bring benefits to their farm.  Companion c...

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Weathering the weather

Cultivation and drilling strategy for 2018/19 Weather, a subject always of interest to farmers, seems more topical than ever. Today's 'drought summit' sees NFU president, Minette Batters meeting Whitehall officials amid fears that the heatwave could have a serious affect on food production. The implications of drought are wide ranging for agricultu...

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Market report - 1st August 2018

World markets US wheat continued its rally yesterday, taking gains up to circa £22/t from the lows of July. Throughout the month of July crop concerns around the world have grown considerably, adding fresh fuel to the fire and driving markets higher. Politics are still in the frame, with some rumours circulating that the US and China could be close...

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Frontrunner - 27th July 2018

WHEAT  Volatile UK wheat prices In reaction to further cuts to European wheat crop estimates, speculative trading and consumer short covering lifted the wheat market sharply higher this week. London wheat futures rallied to new contract highs on Thursday, with the November 2018 contract trading above £190.00/t.This was almost £15/t up on the p...

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