Wheat prices are making farmers increasingly nervous. A weak US dollar is making it difficult for us Euro farmers to compete.

Perhaps we should be like German car manufacturers and protect our production and export markets by insuring, or hedging, early enough against the dollar. But who should undertake this sort of hedging for European farmers?

Export traders, such as Cargill or ADM, would have little interest, and it is not their responsibility to hedge our production, it is us producers who need the insurance. If we could hedge our production, there would be no surpluses in Europe and there would be no need to reduce intervention prices even further. But it makes no sense for individual European farmers to start to hedge their production. I think we should talk with our politicians about this problem.

Another point I do not understand is why our wheat prices react so sharply to oversupply. When there is a 5% overcapacity in car production, car prices hardly fall by 5-10%. In 2004/05 cereal production (including maize, excluding rice) overproduction in the world is about 3% higher than consumption, but we saw prices fall by 40%. Yes, 3% is an awful amount of cereal to store, namely 40m tonnes, but percentage wise this makes no sense to me.

The snow has melted and the crops look good. Harvest prospects are looking good. We started to apply fertiliser, mostly 40-50 kg/ha nitrogen plus 50 kg/ha sulphur, but due to strong winds we did not make great progress. Nevertheless it is great to run over the fields and to breathe the fresh air and to see things growing again, although up to now you can only see the roots growing. So I am happily running along with my spade.

schintling-horny@t-online.de