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Frontrunner - 31st March 2023

Wheat futures markets continued to rally until mid-week, making impressive gains from last week's multi-month lows. The London wheat market added £19/t which encouraged further farmer selling, but with limited interest in physical wheat buying, domestic prices subsequently dropped again towards the end of the week.

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

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Frontrunner - 24th March 2023

Last weekend the Black Sea export corridor deal was renewed. Despite demands from Ukraine for a minimum extension of 120 days, all parties ultimately agreed to Russia's proposal of a maximum of 60 days. Russia said an extension of the deal beyond mid-May will depend on the removal of some western sanctions.

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

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Frontrunner - 17th March 2023

Wheat markets have endured a volatile week's trading with focus on the talks between representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the UN as they discussed the renewal of the Black Sea export deal.

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 Whiteman.

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Frontrunner - 10th March 2023

World wheat futures markets continued to fall this week and have now lost 14% of their value since the end of 2022. The primary drivers for the market negativity are twofold. Firstly, the ongoing competition from cheap Russian wheat exports following Russia's record 2022 wheat crop; and secondly, a strong belief the Ukraine Black Sea export deal with Russia and the UN will renew at the end of next week. If this is the case, Ukraine will continue to ship cheaply offered wheat, corn and other grains on world markets. This makes it likely the US, the EU and other major exporters will be left with burdensome year end stocks.

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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Maize – what to think about for 2023

I think we'd all agree last year was a challenging one, with the lowest amount of rainfall ever recorded since records began. When we look at the results from last season's maize harvest, it's important to understand the notable weather patterns we saw and the effects they had.

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Frontrunner - 3rd March 2023

A strong Russian presence in the global wheat export market and a firm assumption that the Black Sea export corridor agreement will be renewed later this month have caused US wheat futures to slip to their lowest level for 17 months this week.

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Frontrunner - 24th February 2023

European wheat markets have fallen sharply this week, dropping back to price levels seen towards the end of last month. Markets had previously risen due to concerns around the Ukraine Black Sea export deal with Russia and the UN not likely to renew next month, which will be when the timeline for the previous agreement comes to an end. Recent comments from Russian officials suggested some dissatisfaction that the deal was not working in its favour. However, in a public address this week, President Putin made no comments to indicate the deal will not be renewed. Despite this, a date for renegotiation has not yet been set. Ukraine will ask Turkey and the UN for a one-year extension to the export deal and to expand it to include the ports of Mykolaiv.

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 Whiteman. 

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Inspiring production: Growing cereals and oilseed crops for world record yields

Lincolnshire farmer, Tim Lamyman is synonymous with growing record combinable crop yields, so much so that he's now outdone his previous successes.

Following Tim's achievements in 2021, we were thrilled to learn of his recent accolades, having achieved a new world record for winter wheat with a staggering 17.96t/ha and specific weight of 83.6kg/hl with the DSV variety Champion.

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Frontrunner - 17th February 2023

There were few developments in the wheat market this week, with attention remaining focused on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Next week will mark one year since the conflict began and this has seen London wheat futures reach their highest level since the 24th March.

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 Whiteman.

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The benefits of cover crops – much more than just soil health

Cover cropping has become a common practice within arable rotations and as spoken about in previous blogs, this is due to the many benefits they can bring to soils. Given the current volatile fertiliser market, however, today there is much more interest in their ability to capture nutrients, particularly nitrogen. We mustn't forget the range of habitat they also provide for various insects and wildlife.

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The benefits of cover crop destruction within ELMs

February - the month for late snowfall, frosts and in some areas welcome rainfall. Wherever you are in the UK, there will be different challenges as the days lengthen. Some of those challenges are 'the office jobs' you thought you had plenty of time for but now you have more daylight, there is the temptation to shelve those tasks and get on the field. Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) application windows also open around this time, adding even greater temptation to park those jobs.

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Frontrunner - 10th February 2023

This week world wheat markets continued their February recovery, shaking off the January blues. London wheat futures reached their highest level since 6th January, following European markets higher. The euro has been weak compared to the US dollar, with a 2% drop in value from last week's ten-month high. This allows EU wheat to become more competitive and a key factor in trying to secure export sales to Algeria in its latest tender. Official EU wheat exports are now seen at 19 million tonnes, although private analysts estimate shipments at least one million tonnes ahead of that figure from an overall surplus of 30 million tonnes.

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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Nitrogen rates – what to think about this season

At this time of year, attention turns to upcoming activity on farm. First on the list will be early nitrogen applications, but before they happen it's important to consider what could impact them and any subsequent applications to ensure you make the most of your nitrogen fertiliser.

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Frontrunner - 3rd February 2023

US wheat production prospects for the 2023 harvest remain in question following a period of challenging weather conditions, also taking into account an increase in the planted area. In January, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated US farmers had planted 36.95 million acres - an 11% increase on the year. Although others estimate less, if this growth is accurate there is a question around how much of that area will provide a crop. 

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 Whiteman.

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Celebrate 10 years of the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count and get involved

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust's (GWCT) Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC). As the founder of this initiative, I am overwhelmingly pleased to see it is still going strong and that so many of you are continuing to take part.

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Frontrunner - 27th January 2023

Wheat futures saw further aggressive selling on Monday which extended the negative price run that began in early 2023. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures dropped to their lowest level since October 2021 with sellers encouraged by weekend rains and snow that fell across much of the US winter wheat producing states.

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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Frontrunner - 20th January 2023

Russia's military activity in Ukraine have had a significant influence on wheat prices over the past 11 months. Last May, wheat futures soared to record high levels as the Russian invasion of Ukraine halted Black Sea exports from one of the world's primary wheat exporters. The subsequent arrival of a record Russian wheat crop - now put above 104 million tonnes - has resulted in notable wheat exports, increasing their market share in world markets. This has contributed to wheat futures prices falling back to levels not seen before the conflict.

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 Whiteman.

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Frontrunner - 13th January 2023

Wheat futures rallied over the festive break with many regaining the losses they had posted earlier in December. The primary driver for this was the extreme cold that hit a significant part of the US winter wheat belt with freezing temperatures as far south as Texas raising concerns for winter kill. US winter wheat was already in poor shape with over 70% of the area drilled in drought conditions heading into the winter.

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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Frontrunner - 6th January 2023

Wheat markets enjoyed some festive cheer over the Christmas holiday season. Prices moved higher and regained the losses they had made since the end of November. However, this short-term blip reversed in the new year with sharp declines and futures markets headed back down towards multi-month lows.

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

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Field grain analysis results

As we've mentioned before, the only real way to measure the effect of nitrogen is at the end of the season when we have the opportunity to analyse grain on an individual-field basis. From this, the findings can highlight the specific adjustments needed for the following season.

Frontier and SOYL Precision's field grain analysis service gives interpretation over all the essential nutrients to make sure you as a grower get the most from your data. In this blog, I'll focus on the nitrogen analysis results from this year's sampling.

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