Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Frontrunner - 2nd July 2021

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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The fourth major plant nutrient

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​The low levels of sulphur we see today are not a new problem. Rather, it is something we've been aware of for over 30 years; ever since the first sulphur-deficient oilseed rape crops were seen on very light soils. Over time, this deficiency has progressed and now impacts virtually all crops and soil types. By looking at the factors that influence sulphur availability, you can make informed decisions and opt for products that match your crops' sulphur demand. 

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Managing the volatility of the fertiliser markets: A look back at the fertiliser market in 2020

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The 2020-2021 growing season will be remembered by growers for many things: lockdown, online meetings, the unpredictable weather and volatility in both the grain and fertiliser markets.

The link between grain and fertiliser markets is a complex one. When grain prices are higher, it drives demand for fertiliser. In other words, food security creates demand. However, perhaps over this last year, it has been Covid-19 that has had the greatest impact of all on the high nitrogen values we've seen.

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Assessing the nitrogen requirements of milling wheat

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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

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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

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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When it rains it pours: Managing your wild bird seed and game crops

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​Unpredictable weather seems to be the order of the day at the moment. After what was a very dry and cold April, May has brought about warmer temperatures and a considerable amount of rainfall. At Kings, much of our time had been spent advising growers not to drill wild bird seed and game cover crops too early but given the drastic change in weather, we're now finding that many simply cannot get onto plots because it is too wet.

Now that we are entering the peak planting window from mid-May through to mid-June, I've compiled some timely points of advice to help you make the most of the next four weeks. 

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Frontrunner - 14th May 2021

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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

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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

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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

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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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Spring blog series: Increase NUE to improve your farm efficiency rating

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If a production system experiences losses, its efficiency is going to be reduced. Often this can lead to a reduction in output too and, if losses are severe enough, even an increase to overall running costs.

If we look at this in relation to our fertiliser programmes the risks are similar, so preventing any losses can lead to some real gains. For example, by reducing the CO2e/t of production you could improve your margins and simultaneously benefit the environment.

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Frontrunner - 16th April 2021

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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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Boosting spring crops with biostimulants

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This blog is the second and final installment in our series looking at the value of biostimulants, including why a sequenced approach - such as that within our BioPlan nutrition programme - can prove beneficial when it comes to pushing crop performance. While our first blog covered the benefits and application guidance for winter crops, this one explores the opportunities for spring crops and includes some useful trials data.

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Frontrunner - 9th April 2021

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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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