Typical British Weather.... - Agrii - Connecting Agri-science with farming

David Neale Blog

April 10, 2012

Typical British Weather….

Typical Easter Weather for the UK!

How crazy is this weather getting, I challenge anyone to tell me it’s not more extreme than it used to be – they tell me it’s all about extra sun spot activity? The week before last saw temperatures of 24 degrees in Scotland and more recently just -5; this will test crops even further. Add to this the on-going drought across Europe and you begin to see the extent of weather implications on our growing patterns. The impact from frost damage in Europe is still coming through with massive re drilling of wheat and barley with spring barley and maize. Both crops are under immense seed supply pressure, this will impact on next years seed supplies so get this booked early!

Extreme damage in parts of Canada and drought problems in South America and China highlight the pressure on world food production again.

Some UK Potatoes and Vegetables are not being planted and there is caution about not selling too much yield per hectare of arable crops at the moment. No doubt with Easter behind us it will get back to more normal conditions – whatever they are! How worried are you about the drought impact or of course recent snowfall and rain in Scotland and Wales?

….Together with yet more extreme market volatility

After the grain trade excitement last week of pending USDA planting figures, this week markets have gone into anti-climax and holiday mode! Prices have drifted back a bit since Monday (02.04.12) but then they had taken a significant lift.

The prognosis of the plantings estimate was as follows:

Corn (Maize) 95.864 million acres vs. average trade guess of 94.72 and bigger than the highest trade guess of 95.6 yet the Matif wheat went up €6 !!!


Soya 73.9 mill acres vs. average guess at 75.393 lowest trade guess at 74.00 very bullish Soy Matif OSR went up €11, the market sees Soya winning this tug-o-war, amazing!!!

Wheat 55.9 m acres vs. average trade guess of 57.422 lowest trade guess at 55.5 very bullish Wheat.

So what was the outcome of all this excitement about Maize acreage planting plans going up?

We have seen new crop OSR up around £12 and a rise in old crop Wheat and Barley O/C in various years from £5 to £8.  All prices are subject to regions/haul and movement periods and subject to change! Current prices are worth selling at provided you consider your own budget, movement requirements and state of the crop.

There are market opportunities with HOLL (High Oleic Low Linolenic) high yielding hybrid OSR for the low trans-fat food market. We have excellent premiums over OSR and oil bonuses, great flexibility on terms, movement and base price. This is an opportunity for you to be part of this exciting growth market – ask your agronomist or seed contact for further details.

Finally with all this cold weather how about some NAKED OATS! Excellent market and premiums, have a look at the offer, it bears consideration.

Disease and Pest Abound

OSR Light Leaf Spot occurring in the South and Phoma heading North shows us that nature stays in charge. Dynamic discussion is needed with breeders and HGCA trials teams to keep on top of national recommendations. With over 40k replicated plots covering all species, varieties and challenges, together with all aspects of agronomy and nutrition, we are in a position to provide evidence based advice on all these issues. At four leading R&D sites and thirty farm demonstration sites across the UK we keep in touch with our local agronomists and the regional weather and crop challenges. We are proud to have so much information to support farmers and our agronomists, this is strengthened by the feedback we receive from you, the concerns and issues affecting you help us pave the way for future research.


On the farm at home, our second batch of fat lambs are off to market this week with excellent values and thankfully enough grass at the moment to continue fattening the rest. We do need the rain to wash in the N and set up the following valuable hay crop. Spring barley on the farm is growing well in low moisture soils and we have excellent rooting from our Take Off Seed Treatment. Neighbours are being cautious about rushing the Maize acreage –last week has shown us why!

Did you see us on Countryfile with Adam drilling our spring barley plots on the farm? I thought Ollie, our agronomist, did a good job talking about seed treatments and what we are doing with R&D. It did take many shots to get it right in front of the camera, but we got there in the end!

What do you think Adam should be bringing to the screen from your perspective? – do you have a local initiative you are involved with or a burning issue that you think the public would be interested in. Let me know and I will pass it on.

You can email David your comments and opinions via david.neale@agrii.co.uk.

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