The Grain Column with Emma Croft

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

Feed wheat values are significantly improved this week; £120/T ex-farm is now being offered for harvest collection. Although we are yet to see any local new crop wheat samples (and we aren’t expecting to do so for at least another week or ten days yet), early reports from the South of England are definitely encouraging.

As for feed barley, I would estimate that around 50% of the acreage in East Yorkshire is now safely in the shed and results are mixed.

The majority of samples are struggling to meet the required 63.5kg/hl, but many of the recent samples are testing around the 60kg/hl mark, which is at least allowing for rapid movement off the farm.

Feed Barley yields are ranging anywhere from 1.8 tonnes per acre to 3.5 tonnes per acre. Based on the local samples I have seen so far, I would say that most crops are achieving somewhere between 2.75 – 3.0 tonnes per acre; nicely in line with the five year average of 2.75 tonners per acre.

£100/T ex-farm currently looks like a realistic value for September collection.

Elsewhere, the EU commission have this week slightly increased their forecast for European wheat yields this year to 5.85 tonnes per hectare. Although this is a decline on the 6.03 tonnes per hectare achieved last year, it is a significant increase on the 5.82 tonnes per hectare that was forecast at the beginning of last month.

Whilst 0.03 tonnes per hectare doesn’t seem like much of a significant increase, it represents the fact that the European Commission has made an increase regardless of the recent weather concerns throughout central Europe over the last few weeks.

However, it should also be noted that questions regarding the overall quality of the crop remains; “high cloud cover and persistent rainfall has resulted in high soil moisture and thus an exposure to various pest and disease pressures” – it will be worth keeping an eye on quality reports as they emerge.

Meanwhile, OSR prices have firmed over the last week or so in accordance with the realisation that yields across Northern Europe will not be as good as previously expected.

According to United Oilseeds, we could see production for both France and Germany below the 10 million tonne mark. As for the UK, we could easily see a crop of just 1.8 million tonnes, which would be a seven year low.

Furthermore, the pound has weakened slightly over the last few days which has also added support to values; £280.00/T - £285.00/T ex-farm is currently being offered for as available collection off the combine over the next fortnight. This should be worth some consideration, particularly for those of you who are limited on storage options – American soybean values have fallen to a three month low this week which may limit the bullish sentiment of the European OSR market as harvest progress continues.