Know How / Market opportunities

In a competitive market for arable crops, keep on top of where the market opportunities lie. Find out which grain and oilseed rape contracts offer a premium, how future changes to subsidies may affect grain markets and how other farmers have switched varieties to find new markets.

Advice and tips


Why arable farmers should consider growing rye for pig feed

Cheaper to grow than a second wheat or winter barley and with high yields, hybrid rye offers a better margin and can help in the battle against grass weeds. In…


Why hemp is an attractive alternative crop to OSR

Hemp is set to become a viable and attractive break crop alternative to oilseed rape, as farmers are being sought to supply the growing UK market next season. Compared with…


New varieties and prices spark biscuit wheat revival

Soft-milling biscuit-making wheats are experiencing a revival led by better price premiums and varieties, and could see a further increase in area this autumn. For wheat growers struggling to meet…


Expert’s 5 tips for arable farmers converting to organic

Converting arable farms to organic production can be a big step as farmers ditch pesticides and fertilisers to rely on cultural methods of controlling pests, weeds and diseases. The conversion…

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Case studies


Why one Scottish light land estate has opted to grow rye

Hybrid rye is replacing wheat and barley on one light land Perthshire estate as it has a higher yield and lower inputs, while satisfying a growing thirst for rye whisky.…


Berkshire grower earns a good premium from German wheat

Berkshire wheat grower Nick Philp is growing the German top-quality milling wheat variety Nelson, as it gives him a good price premium over most other breadmakers at a lower fungicide…


Miscanthus fuels Norfolk grower's desire to improve soil

Adam Brewer has turned to growing miscanthus to improve his soils and the environment, while also giving him a profitable low-input crop for his north Norfolk farm. The crop will…


Winter barley abandoned for triticale on Shropshire farm

A Shropshire grower is swapping to triticale this spring after a wet autumn prevented him from drilling more than half of his winter barley area. With its tolerance to drought,…

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How the new sugar beet contract shares virus yellows risk

Sugar beet growers are set to benefit from some brand new features contained in the 2021 contract, which resulted from negotiations between British Sugar and NFU Sugar. Described as ground-breaking…


Demand for healthy fish and chip oil sees premium for OSR

Oilseed rape growers are set to get a boost from the humble fish and chip shop, as high street fryers turn to healthy rapeseed oil that will earn farmers a…


Is bruchid beetle making spring beans less attractive?

Despite increasing concern over uncontrollable bruchid beetle in some parts of the UK, rotational benefits and a reasonable feed market shouldn’t put growers off drilling spring beans for harvest 2021.…

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Scientists explore growing organic rapeseed in Scotland

Growing organic oilseed rape in Scotland is being explored by a group of scientists and farmers, which could lead to a new premium-earning cropping opportunity for arable farms north of…


Bigger markets could help absorb expected higher bean harvest

Expanding markets are set to soak up the expected higher bean harvest in 2020 and prevent a tumble in prices that bean growers faced after a bumper bean crop in…


Buoyant market for organic cereals offers opportunities

A buoyant market for UK-grown organic grains and pulses means there are good opportunities for profitable organic arable production, according to Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G). Steven Jacobs, business development…


Hybrid feed barley Kingsbarn promises yield and quality

The new six-row hybrid barley variety from Syngenta promises consistently high yields, good disease resistance and a comparable quality to conventional two row varieties. Kingsbarn, which is officially launched to…

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Video: How to grow a cereal crop for seed

Cereal growers with clean weed-free ground could earn themselves a significant premium over the price of feed wheat and barley by growing crops for seed production. Prices of 10-12% over…

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