Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Make the most of your ‘natural capital’

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'Natural capital' is a relatively new phrase within UK agriculture. We spoke about it as part of our presentations at this year's 3D Thinking seminars and it sparked a real interest amongst growers. As we explored the phrase's definition and what it meant for farmers, our audience soon recognised the importance of 'boarding the agri-environment bus...
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Mid-week market report - 27th March 2019

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Global markets are increasingly focused on weather patterns and the size of the US fund short for fresh direction. Widespread flooding and below average temperatures in the US plains and Midwest remains a flag for growing crops, while warmer forecasted weather could compound the problem as snow-melt will add to ground moisture levels. Conversely, s...
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Frontrunner - 22nd March 2019

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WHEAT Spring is the season of risk Market support has held in wheat markets since the lows of the previous week. Speculators have large bearish positions laid on in grains for crops that are still very exposed to adverse planting and growing conditions as dormancy breaks. The strength of rebound in wheat futures has been largely led by corn as mark...
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The Variable Rate Seed myth

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We introduced variable rate seed over 15 years ago and the benefits, including that of a yield increase of 4.2% over flat rate drilling, are well documented . However, every now and then I come across individuals who think that doing variable rate seed avoids the need for variable rate applications of nitrogen. This is a myth. Where did the myth co...
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Frontrunner - 15th March 2019

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WHEAT Turbulent wheat markets The world's wheat markets started the week extending their recent downward trend. Speculative fund selling took the US CBOT wheat futures to contract lows on Monday, pulling European and UK wheat futures lower too. Their motivation comes from slow US wheat export pace and expectations for a bounce back in production fo...
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Managing lodging risk in cereals this spring

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Lodging is described by Berry, 1998 as "The permanent displacement of plant stems from the vertical" which "occurs on average once every four years in UK wheat crops, when it reduces the yield and bread-making quality of grain." Fischer and Stapper, 1987 also report that "Lodging can reduce yields from 7 – 35%, with the greatest yield reductions oc...
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Variable crops will require a considered PGR approach this season

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​ Yet again a season has seemingly come at us with a fresh set of challenges. Personally, I don't think I've ever seen a 'normal' year and averages cover a lot of variability. However, we do have a challenge with this season's oilseed rape (OSR) crops and working out what to do. Autumn and winter have been both unseasonably dry and unseasonably war...
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Mid-week market report - 13th March 2019

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World wheat markets continued to move lower at the beginning of the week, extending the trend we have seen since the beginning of 2019. Speculative funds took their short positions to over 120,000 contracts in US wheat futures markets, leaving them technically very oversold and due a bounce. The funds seem driven by the poor US wheat export pace an...
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Monitoring grain markets 24/7 made possible with new technology

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​Most of the farmers I know keep a watchful eye on commodity prices and use a variety of methods to do so. The method chosen is down to personal choice; it could be speaking to a farm trader, scrolling through Twitter or checking online via the farming press. Making that proactive choice to check; 'Has the grain market gone up, down or even remaine...
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The impact of flea beetle larvae

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​ As if the adult population of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) wasn't problematic enough last autumn when large areas of oilseed rape were written off, crops are now struggling again as they come out of winter. CSFB larvae are present in high numbers on both heavily grazed crops and even those which appeared to grow away from the pest last year. I...
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Frontrunner - 8th March 2019

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WHEAT UK old crop sinks lower The absence of any significant consumer demand facilitated a further £5/t drop in futures and delivered prices this week. To some extent, this season the UK wheat grower has been sheltered slightly from rock-bottom global prices because of currency but UK markets followed the rest of the world lower this week. Due to t...
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Mid-week market report - 6th March 2019

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​ Wheat For the first time in a while, futures markets closed yesterday slightly firmer in the UK, EU and USA despite nothing fundamentally bullish to fuel the support. In the USA, widespread freezing conditions and snow continue to cause logistical issues for the transportation of grains which has increased nearby delivered prices. However, crops ...
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Frontrunner - 1st March 2019

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WHEAT Negative world markets World markets are currently showing little signs of recovery whilst major exporters compete to win upcoming tenders. Coupled with this, we're also seeing non commercial funds willing to sell wheat lower given the promising outlook of wheat production for 2019. UK finding some support UK markets found support this week f...
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Market report - 28th February 2019

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The significant fall in US and EU wheat markets at the beginning of the week has gathered momentum as funds/speculators continue building their short positions of wheat and corn. However, there was some recovery on Wednesday for both old and new crop. Saudi Arabia will tender for 595,000 tonnes of wheat on Thursday and it will be interesting to see...
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Story of a field

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There has been a lot of interest in variable rate nitrogen this season driven by crops that are full of potential, and good market prices. SOYL's variable rate nitrogen service, based on reliable satellite imagery, has proven yield and protein benefits. One way of showing how we achieve these improvements is to show visually how the crop responds t...
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Crop recording and time management

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I've been visiting growers on their farms for nearly 25 years and I've noticed that there are many familiar consistencies between businesses and yet at the same time every farm is different. One of the common themes is how busy farmers are.However, there is no correlation between how busy farmers are and the size of the farm, the amount of diversif...
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Frontrunner - 22nd February 2019

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WHEAT Weak wheat markets Wheat markets made notable losses earlier this week, led lower by US CBOT futures that hit contract lows. By close of business on Wednesday, CBOT losses amounted to 6% and this was partly attributed to US wheat being uncompetitive and missing out on recent export trade. Syria and Bangladesh bought 200,000 tonnes and 50,000 ...
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Mid-week market report - 20th February 2019

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Global markets weaken World wheat markets started notably weaker this week, led lower by the US CBOT wheat futures that dropped to a 13-month low yesterday. The US is failing to secure sufficient trade to help them meet export targets and they need to be more competitive. This was highlighted by recent tenders where both Syria and Bangladesh opted ...
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Frontrunner - 15th February 2019

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WHEAT Global prices move lower Chicago wheat futures traded at their lowest level since the start of 2019 yesterday and Kansas Corn was no different. Both markets were forced lower by disappointing export data. US wheat sales currently sit 8% behind this time last year as they've struggled to compete with cheap Russian wheat. Matif also closed €3/t...
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Mid-week market report - 13th February 2019

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Friday's USDA report threw us no real surprises in terms of global supply and demand. As a result, the market's focus returned to cash wheat prices around the world. It feels as though the pace of Russian export business is beginning to dwindle, with origins such as the USA, Ukraine and even France beginning compete. This may go some way to making ...
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