28 August 1998

Maize stays same level as last year

By Tim Relf

STANDING maize crops seem set to be worth similar money to last autumn.

At one of the first offerings on Monday at Upton Pyne, Devon, £180/acre was taken. "This will probably be about the level we see," says Stags auctioneer Terry Hamlin.

Big crops of winter fodder could keep a lid on trade, says Mr Hamlin. "I cant imagine prices going through the roof."

What has got a bit nearer the roof of late, though, are the crops themselves. "After rain, they have shot up – were heading for some decent crops," says Mr Hamlin.

Wright-Manley auctioneer Andrew Wallace also speaks of variability. "Some people are pleased – but a lot wish their crops were a bit further forward," he says.

Prices at auction will be between £160 and £200/acre, he reckons. "I cant see the £400/acre level of two years ago being repeated."

Martin Dare of Greenslade Taylor Hunt suggests deals could be done at between £150/acre and £250/acre.

"Itll be like most things in farming – not doing very well. But if you have something that is good quality, theres always someone who wants it."

"With the milk price down, no-one is going to want to spend too much on it. It will probably go for about the same prices as last year – which was down on the previous years record levels," he says. &#42