Grain column with Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.
Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

I begin this week’s column by daring to say that Harvest 2016 is finally coming to a close.

Other than the odd field of spring beans or spring wheat which are yet to be cut either on the Wold Tops or along the East Yorkshire coastline, almost all crops are now safely in the shed in our area.

Following a mixed forecast over the last couple of weeks, it has been a frustrating finish for many growers following the relatively smooth going pace of this year’s harvest.

Nonetheless many have now tucked their combines away for another season and have turned their attention to getting next year’s harvest in the ground.

Both winter wheat and barley seed varieties are selling out fast although there are bits and pieces available with quick delivery for those that have either tweaked their rotations or underestimated their initial order – please contact the office to discuss your requirements.

As for values, the London LIFFE wheat market has been supported this week by a combination of US maize corn harvesting worries and a weaker sterling against both the US dollar and the Euro.

Although US maize corn harvest progress is only slightly behind the five year average, concerns are being expressed for the amount of rainfall which is forecast to arrive this week.

With a potentially record maize corn crop forecast alongside historically high export sales, any signs of either harvest delay or crop damage should grab the market’s attention this week – it may not be something to get overly excited about just yet, but it could be worth keeping an eye on next week.

Elsewhere Egypt, the world’s largest importer of feed wheat, has once again changed its policy regarding ergot tolerance this week.

The Country applied a strict “zero tolerance” policy on ergot earlier this month which resulted in the cancellation of at least three wheat tenders in a row due to boycotts from suppliers.

The international standard tolerance of Ergot is 0.05% and this is what Egypt has reverted back to accepting.

According to AHDB, “doubts regarding Egypt’s ability to meet requirements for its bread subsidy scheme is potentially behind the change in ergot tolerance levels”.

It will be interesting to see how the decision will impact the market; it should in theory encourage values upwards now that once again Egypt looks like an attractive export option.