Winter wheat crops look promising

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

Although this week’s weather wasn’t quite the ‘heatwave’ that we had been promised, warm and dry weather has made way for excellent harvest progress over the last seven days.

Almost all winter barley and winter OSR crops are now safely in the shed and although the results have been generally disappointing, prospects for both winter wheat and spring barley crops look much more promising.

Several local growers have made a start with harvesting both of the above this week and although yields are down on last year’s bumper crop, they both appear in line with the five year average.

Winter wheat yields have ranged anywhere from 3 to 4.5 tonnes per acre and crop quality has so far been very good.

However, the majority of the samples we have seen are milling wheats, making it difficult to comment on bushel weights.

Feed wheat for September collection has rallied to £125/T ex-farm this week. Further forward, £130/T ex-farm is offered for collection before the end of the year.

Currency appears to be the main factor driving the London wheat market at the moment although last week’s all important USDA report proved favourable for European wheat values.

Total European wheat production is forecast nine million tonnes lower than last month’s estimate and although a reduction was expected, it is certainly larger than expected.

In addition to this, European wheat exports were reduced by seven million tonnes on last month’s estimate.

Ongoing issues with the French wheat crop are predominantly responsible for the downgrade although prospects for this year’s German wheat crop are also questionable.

Meanwhile, early spring barley samples look promising although as with the wheat, the majority of samples seen are grown for a premium and it is therefore difficult to draw any conclusions regarding quality at this stage.

The number one malting barley variety Concerto appears to be doing particularly well with yields in excess of three tonnes per acre commonplace.

Quality of this variety in particular has been excellent; bold grains with low nitrogen contents and minimal screenings.

For those of you with uncontracted spring malting in the ground, please contact the office to discuss your requirements.