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Frontrunner - 2nd July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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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Assessing the nitrogen requirements of milling wheat

As my colleague, Edward Downing, explained in his blog about final nitrogen decisions for cereals, the wet autumn and winter has really thrown up some challenges.

After extensive rainfall early in the new year, we went into one of the coldest but driest spring seasons on record. Today though, I think we'd all agree that weather pattern has broken. May has, so far, been riddled with unsettled conditions – you might forgive some people for thinking we were actually in October.

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Frontrunner - 21st May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Frontrunner - 1st April 2021

On Wednesday 31ST March, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its quarterly US stocks and acreage report. It contained bullish data for corn that triggered a sharp price rally for Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures, sending them to new contract highs; the highest level seen since 2013. Despite the report having bearish wheat data, wheat futures followed corn futures higher, ending the recent slide in prices that had dropped to a three-month low prior to the report.

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 - 26th March 2021

World wheat markets have fallen again this week and have now effectively lost all the price gains they made in 2021. London wheat futures fell to their lowest level since the 17th December. In January, fears that Russia would close the door on wheat exports saw Black Sea export prices soar to £300/t free on board (FOB), before including freight costs. Buyers are now harder to find and traders' offers were reported to have fallen to $250/t searching for demand. Prices have fallen sharply despite strong exports to date for the world's major producers. Weekly wheat export sales for the US were 344,000 tonnes, taking the season's total sold to almost 93% of the surplus estimated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is just ahead of average at this time of year.

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 - 19th March 2021

World wheat markets have slipped 2-3% lower this week following better than expected wheat crop estimates from analysts for many of the world's primary wheat exporters: the US, Russia, Ukraine, and the EU.

Much of the US wheat belt has stayed dry for several months but recent snow and rain has proved beneficial. Weekly crop ratings were 'good' to 'excellent' for both Oklahoma and Kansas which were up four points to 57% and two points to 38% respectively. More rain is due with significant storms forecast to arrive.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. This week's report is read by farm trader, Lottie Bauer.

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Maximising your winter crops' potential with biostimulants

We are seeing an increased interest from growers when it comes to the use of advance micro-nutrition and biostimulants as part of their integrated approach to pushing crop performance. Given where we are in the season, we thought it would be useful to give an overview of biostimulants and their role in crop production – specifically how and when to use them. We'll also explain our BioPlan service and how taking a sequenced approach to applications can support overall performance and sustainability.

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Spring blog series: Time to carry out your 'crop MOTs'

At this stage of the season, there is a lot to think about and plan on farm.

Of course, the priorities from one farm to the next will always differ depending on location, rotation, soil conditions and overall crop production strategies. With that in mind, we're compiling a spring blog series that covers some of the key considerations and activities for this time of year – a group of posts to help you carry out some 'crop MOTs' if you will. This first blog focuses on spring nutrition for cereals and oilseed rape, but we'll be covering other crops and considerations in the coming days. To be notified each time a new blog is published, you can subscribe here.

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