Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Frontrunner - 5th June 2020

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Rain arriving in the UK, northern Europe and Black Sea countries has been viewed as beneficial for the drought-stricken wheat crops in these regions, triggering a wave of selling on wheat futures markets earlier this week.

UK prices suffered particularly, losing as much as 40% of the gains they made during May. Values were not helped by the 1% gain of sterling against the euro. However, there was a notable turnaround on Thursday, led by wheat futures from the US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), which rallied to a six-week high... 

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This week's report is read by Barley Trader, Westly Garner.

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Frontrunner - 20th March 2020

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The impact of coronavirus continues to be the primary driver for financial and commodity markets. World wheat prices saw significant volatility this week, driven by exaggerated moves in foreign exchange rates and high nearby consumer demand. The Bank of England cut UK interests rates to a record low of just 0.1% and, with the British government introducing other financially supportive measures for the UK economy, sterling fell by 6.5% versus the euro. As a result, London wheat futures rallied to new contract highs for November 2020 and, from the lowest to the highest, achieved a spread in prices of £12/t. The euro also fell versus the US dollar, adding value to European wheat prices. Demand for bread products increased as panic buying cleared supermarket shelves, brought millers back to the market, and added weight to the increase in old crop wheat prices.

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Maize seed dressings uncovered

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The relentless wet weather is likely to mean that more growers will be growing maize this season; either for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. Maize is a crop that needs careful management and seed treatments are an important part of that management that have seen some significant changes.

Most maize growers will be aware of the challenges we now face with the loss of the active ingredient methiocarb; best known as the seed treatment Mesurol. This seed treatment has for years provided class leading bird repellence, particularly against rook damage and other corvids, to the extent that some will have forgotten quite how damaging these pests can be. 

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Supplementary feeding farmland birds

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The widespread decline of some of our most prominent farmland birds such as grey partridge, yellowhammer, tree sparrow and linnet is well known. A leading contributor to their plight is the so called 'hungry gap'; a period from December to April where there is a shortage of food in the wider countryside for farmland birds due to the natural depleti...
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Using SOYL services with a Trimble control box

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​ As part of my role in the SOYL Customer Support team, much of my time is spent helping growers with hardware. Unsurprisingly, as Trimble is one of the most popular brands for arable application control in the UK, many growers that I speak to ask about their range of devices and compatibility with our own products. The Trimble range While many of ...
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Will reduced availability of certified bean seed present a market opportunity?

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While we have all enjoyed the long, hot summer of 2018 it has many things to answer for including the failure of a large percentage of potential certified winter bean seed due to poor germination.   Seed shortage likely to fuel bean market As a result of this shortage of seed it is possible that fewer fields will be sown with beans this season...
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Using iSOYL for variable rate seed

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Launched just over three years ago, iSOYL is an app that turns your Apple iPad into a variable rate application system, allowing you to manage your precision crop production tasks direct from the tractor cab. Files created in MySOYL are transferred easily to iSOYL and can be used straight away in the field. As well as being easy to use, it's also c...
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​Control with Clearfield technology

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With some long overdue rain finally dampening seed beds in the past week, oilseed rape drilling is now well underway for many parts of the UK.However, for some of us the fields are already playing host to thousands of OSR plants, well before we've even set to work putting next year's crop in the ground. These early occupants haven't come from the d...
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Trial new wheat varieties before making commitment

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  This blog was first featured as an article in the July issue of Three Counties Farmer For many arable farmers, July is always a month of preparation and anticipation. The latter is particularly true for harvest and involves waiting for oilseed rape and barley to be fit enough to cut, calculating yields and quality, cleaning out grain sheds, ...
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First look at a 'new-look' RL list

This week saw the annual publication of the AHDB Recommended List . This year sees a new look to the list with a move back to a one-page wheat round up. This is likely to be welcomed by many of us as it's easier to view, especially if this carries through to the printed version. Welcome new varieties Although wheat varieties are down to one page th...
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