Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Frontrunner- 30th July 2021

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Wheat long-holders in many areas can still achieve attractive premiums for old crop wheat as the market scrambles to find stocks to service late-season demand. In Scotland and the North of England particularly, wheat prices that are £30-40/t above harvest levels should encourage most sheds to be emptied as the country enters a new crop year with bare boards and minimal carryover. As wheat harvest started in the south this week, most merchants and consumers will breathe a sigh of relief as we come to the end of one of the smallest UK crop years in recent history.

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

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Frontrunner - 23rd July 2021

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Persistent hot and dry weather continues to damage spring wheat crops in the northern US states, particularly North Dakota and Minnesota. Weekly crop condition ratings slipped to 11% rated 'good to excellent', which is just one point above the worst condition rating on record in 1988. The area rated 'poor to very poor' increased on the week to 63% from 55% and this data propelled US spring wheat futures to new contract highs - their highest level since November 2012.

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

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Frontrunner - 16th July 2021

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US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures rallied sharply this week, gaining 10% in value from last week's three-month lows.

Persistent hot and dry weather conditions across US and Canadian spring wheat production areas look set to continue into next week and will prove further damaging for yield potential. Minneapolis spring wheat futures rose above $9/bu which is their highest since December 2012. The fast rise in spring wheat futures prices has significantly extended its premium to CBOT soft red winter (SRW) wheat futures above $2.20. In early April it was little more than 30 cents.

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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Preparing oilseed rape for harvest

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Harvest is just around the corner for oilseed rape and there are some final but important tasks required now that the crop has reached this point in its life cycle. Across the country, many oilseed rape crops have been looking well but this means that careful consideration is required when planning desiccation and necessary steps should be taken to safeguard crop potential.

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Frontrunner - 9th July 2021

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Wheat markets have stepped lower this week again, strongly influenced by the fortunes for US corn. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) markets were closed on Monday for Independence Day but most of last week's sharp price rally was lost on Tuesday following the long US weekend. CBOT corn opened 40 cents down but losses over the week amounted to 10% as US weather changed to cooler and wetter conditions. This was deemed ideal for developing corn plants as they head towards their pollination period.

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

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Frontrunner - 2nd July 2021

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In recent weeks, analysts have been increasing their wheat production estimates for major exporters Russia, Ukraine and the EU-27. This has left a negative tone and seen world prices continually ease during June. This change has been highlighted by London wheat futures which lost £14/t during the month. However, the primary negative price driver has been expectations for a notably higher 2021-22 US corn crop than previously anticipated.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast by pressing 'play' or downloading the track from within the report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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Frontrunner - 25th June 2021

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Wheat futures have slipped lower this week. London November 2021 wheat futures closed below £170/t for the first time since mid-April. Grain markets have been pressured by wetter and cooler weather across the primary US corn producing states, which are conditions that are ideal for the pollination period and signal improved yield potential.

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

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Frontrunner - 18th June 2021

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Wheat prices have fallen sharply in recent days and London wheat futures have lost more than £10/t from their highs early last week. The fall has been driven by the US agriculture market, particularly by US corn, which has lost over 12% of its value this week.

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

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Frontrunner - 11th June 2021

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The week began with markets on an upward trajectory. Weather is hot and dry in Northern USA, Canada and throughout Europe. Any rain we might see is likely to be confined to the Black Sea region. Despite the dryness, the EU wheat crop should achieve a good volume. However, it will not be an early harvest this season, which raises concerns over quality and, subsequently, prices are generally supported.

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

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Frontrunner - 4th June 2021

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Price volatility for the world's wheat markets continued this week. After initially making a sharp recovery following last week's slump, ultimately wheat markets failed to hold onto their gains. This was highlighted by London wheat futures, which increased by £8/t at their peak midweek before subsequently losing two-thirds of that rally.

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

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Frontrunner - 28th May 2021

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US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat and corn futures have been particularly volatile this week. Spring planting has advanced at a fast rate which has encouraged notable long liquidation from market speculators. Spring wheat planting reached 94% complete, which is well ahead of the 85% average for this time of year. Meanwhile, corn planting advanced to 90% complete compared with the 80% average.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report is read this week by key account manager, Zoe Andrew.

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Frontrunner - 21st May 2021

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World wheat markets have fallen again this week as a result of the pressure of improving production potential for some of the world's primary exporters. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat prices are now 10% below their end-of-April high and London wheat futures hit a low at £21.50/t beneath their recent peak.

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

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Final nitrogen decisions

Final nitrogen decisions

Since the rain has started to fall across the UK, I've had several people asking about the final nitrogen applications on a number of crops. Unsurprisingly, there's quite a lot to consider so we've put together a two-part blog series to help you address all of the key information.

In this first blog I've compiled some advice on final nitrogen decisions for the main arable crops, taking into account overall conditions we've seen this season and what they mean for final doses on oilseed rape, winter wheat and spring cereal crops.

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Frontrunner - 14th May 2021

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report this week, updating its current season balance sheets and its first estimates for next season. The markets were particularly keen to see how the USDA would assess corn production prospects for Brazil.

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

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Frontrunner - 7th May 2021

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Persistent dryness across many of the primary corn growing regions of Brazil is continuing to stress late drilled corn crops and impact their yield potential. In April, the estimate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Brazilian corn crop was at 109 million tonnes, but analysts see the lack of rain taking at least nine million tonnes from that crop potential.

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

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Frontrunner - 30th April 2021

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Wheat and corn futures continued to drive higher earlier this week, setting new contract highs. US markets reached their highest level for eight years and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures pushed above $7/bu – a level double their contract low. New crop London wheat futures at their highest had risen over this month by an impressive £35/t. Higher European futures markets reflected concerns for both winter and spring crops following the prolonged period of dry weather and, in places, record low April temperatures impacting on most of northern Europe.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by key account manager, Zoe Andrew.

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Frontrunner - 23rd April 2021

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Persistent cold dry weather affecting much of the US and Western Europe coupled with ongoing Chinese demand drove wheat and corn markets sharply higher this week. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures have gained over 8% since last Friday's close and are trading over $7 per bushel, bringing them to their highest level since May 2014. European new crop wheat futures have been equally impressive, setting new contract highs. London November 2021 wheat futures are now £26/t above their end of March low.

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

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Frontrunner - 16th April 2021

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Wheat markets continued to rise this week, reacting to increasing concerns for wheat crops as dry and very cold weather persists in Western Europe and parts of the US. The latest US drought monitor maps show an increasing area of extreme drought now impacting on over three-quarters of major spring wheat state, North Dakota. However, spring wheat drilling in the state achieved 8% completion by 11th April compared to the 2% average for this time of year. Nationally, spring drilling is 11% complete compared to the 6% average.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is ready by marketing assistant, Faye Lee.

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Frontrunner - 9th April 2021

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European wheat markets dropped to their lowest so far this year following the Easter break. A lack of fresh demand and generally favourable Northern Hemisphere winter wheat conditions were highlighted as the reasons for the continued downward trend which has been in place since early March. However, US wheat futures rallied sharply on Thursday, taking Paris and London wheat futures higher too. Increasing concerns for dry soil conditions ahead of spring wheat drilling in the north of the US and Canada has been the catalyst for change in market sentiment.

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Flail mowing a perfectly good crop of oilseed rape 16 weeks after drilling it?

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Mowing down a perfectly good crop of oilseed rape in November seems very counterintuitive to most growers. Yet, early indications suggest that this method could reduce cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) pressure without using insecticides.

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