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Frontrunner - 7th December 2018

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WHEAT UK markets trade a narrow range Domestic and futures markets traded in a narrow range this week with the benchmark LIFFE finding a level around £175/t for May delivery. Physically, grain consumers continue to take cover in a marketplace with very little farm and merchant grain offered, which is lending support to prices.However, the uncertain...
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DISCOVERING ICEBERGS at Frontier’s NRoSO sprayer operator days

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Our ever-popular sprayer operator days will soon be upon us. As well as a great lunch and sufficient NRoSO points to ensure status on the register is secured, the events give farmers and sprayer operators valuable insight into current industry issues and the chance to discuss guidelines and best practice recommendations. Conversations are always to...
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Frontrunner - 30th November 2018

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WHEAT Security of supply in December Domestic wheat markets remain focused on securing short term supply through December as logistics have become a constraint for this period. This has created a short term demand, however post Christmas where consumer cover remains ample and Farmers return from the break are likely to find a well supplied and subd...
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Balgonie: an Interreg North Sea Region PARTRIDGE project

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As part of my role as a Kings advisor, one of the great things I am involved with is the Balgonie grey partridge project in Fife. Balgonie features as one of 10 Interreg North Sea Region PARTRIDGE projects and, as with the work we also support at Loddington, it serves as a demonstration site and involves us working closely with the Game and Wildlif...
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Frontrunner - 23rd November 2018

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WHEAT Encouraging price rally for UK wheat After an initial bearish start to the week, UK wheat prices eventually staged an impressive four day rally. Helped on by the weaker sterling and higher continental future prices, London futures gained £4 per tonne in a market was minimal trading activity. Consumers have good cover and there is little to ju...
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Grow your precision strategy at CropTec 2018

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SOYL has been exhibiting at CropTec since it first started back in 2013. In the four times that it has been held since, the show has grown considerably and is a valuable chance for growers to talk to us in a focussed yet informal and relaxed environment. CropTec is considered the "UK's leading technical and knowledge exchange event for the arable f...
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Frontrunner - 16th November 2018

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WHEAT Global markets less volatile Wheat markets traded within a narrow range this week, with global prices closing either side of unchanged. As harvest progresses in the Southern Hemisphere, poor weather continues to cause uncertainty around crop quality. The forecast is poor for Argentina over the next seven days with 84% of the crop still to har...
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Foliar feed timings seen to increase maize yields

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For some people maize is perhaps seen as a somewhat less worthy crop when it comes to allocating management time and resources. Getting it in, being conservative with inputs and taking whatever yield comes along at harvest is often the order of the day. I think if more growers knew what could be achieved by pushing maize harder, they might take a d...
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Beans to replace a failed WOSR crop?

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In numerous counties, the effects of the long, hot summer and the onslaught of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) on oilseed rape crops are still being felt. Crops that were sown in early-August have established well on the whole and were large enough to withstand the gnawing mouthparts of the adult flea beetle. However, crops sown in mid to late Augu...
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Frontrunner - 9th November 2018

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WHEAT 'Bears' 1 vs. 'Bulls' nil this week World markets have had to digest another USDA WASDE data release that was not bullish for wheat markets. Reductions in southern hemisphere crops were smaller than anticipated and the feed grain complex was boosted massively by China's unexpected stock find of 148 million tonnes. The grains complex feels hea...
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Farmer Cluster Conference 2018

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Farmer Cluster Conference. Held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute on 1 st November, the event was hosted by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), with support from Natural England. This year's event was the second of its kind and served as a way to bring together those who have organis...
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Not all grain pools are the same

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Selling via pools helps to take away some of the risk associated with trading in an open market. They can form a key part of your grain marketing strategy and are a sensible option at a time when so many factors are impacting prices. Committing to a grain pool, however, requires some considerable thought. Before you enter into a contract with a mer...
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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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Manage your risk in a post-Brexit marketplace

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For many farmers, November is often the month for completing odd jobs around the farm that were likely neglected throughout harvest and the drilling season. Whether it's rebuilding the neighbour's fence or straightening the farm security gate (flat bed trailers can be dangerous in the wrong hands – ask my boss from my student days), it all needs do...
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Lime product options

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At the beginning of August, I wrote a blog on the importance of correcting your pH and the benefits that this can bring to you and your land. Lime spreaders have been working at full capacity across the UK since then and it has served as a reminder of just how many different liming products are available. As a result, I thought it would be helpful ...
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Integrating new policy into the modern farming business

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This blog was first featured as an article in the November issue of Three Counties Farmer : The sun has continued to shine. As I write, the weather forecast shows a considerable rain event over the coming weekend preceding another settled spell. Autumn drilling and harvest continues but, with my growers at least, there isn't an air of com...
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Frontrunner - 2nd November 2018

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WHEAT Russian rumours rumble on The world's leading wheat exporter has played a major part influencing prices this season. Wheat yields slashed by adverse weather saw their crop drop more than 15 million tonnes on last year's record 85 million tonnes. In August, rumours of a possible Russian export ban sent the world's wheat future markets soaring ...
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The laws of physics or the rules of nature?

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When I was a lad at school the laws of physics, including Newton's third rule " for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, " seemed of little consequence to me. However, as I grew up I came to realise that the laws of physics are all around us every day and life is bound inextricably to them. To a certain extent nature applies its ow...
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Frontrunner - 26th October 2018

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WHEAT Ensus announcement weighs on prices in the North On Monday, CropEnergies announced that their Ensus bioethanol plant in Teeside would pause production from the end of November "due to the difficult market conditions". With the plant having historically used a combination of both wheat and maize the news came as a shock to the UK grain trade, ...
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Don’t overlook boron in your OSR crop this autumn

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Boron is a key nutrient for oilseed rape, with its main functions associated with aiding stem elongation and flowering. While these developments will happen later next spring, it is important to start addressing some of this need now before the crop enters winter.  The last thing we want is OSR coming out of the colder months with a deficiency...
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