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


Cambs farmer happy to grow wheat for breakfast market

Soft wheats have cemented their place in James Fountain’s rotation, earning a valuable premium from Weetabix, as well as fitting in with his strategy for controlling a troublesome grassweed. The…


Carbon, soil and wine central to plug BPS gap on Sussex farm

Richard Goring is making wine to match the best the French can produce and using that success to re-connect with consumers and plan for a farm subsidy-free future. A planned…


Hybrid rye chosen for low inputs and climate resilience

Hybrid grain rye is being grown for the first time by farming group Sentry in south Norfolk as a low-input crop on light land as it may be able to…


Market opportunities for growers in niche crop echium

Growers Peter and Andrew Fairs grow niche crop echium on their Essex farm for the pharmaceutical market, which uses its prized oil in cosmetics. The father-and-son team's business, Fairking, based…

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How northern farmers could benefit from new soft winter wheat

A new soft Group 4 winter wheat variety that is significantly better for distilling than other variety choices should bring benefits to farmers as well as the end user. Tipped…


Will soil carbon be the next big crop for growers?

It feels like a perfect storm: the urgency of climate change, the global surge in interest in regenerative agricultural practices and the need for new income streams. They are all…


Oat growers turn to expanding plant-based drinks market

With brands such as Oatly and Alpro on the supermarket shelves, oat drinks are presenting producers with a good opportunity for a British provenanced and sustainable oat crop. As an…


Should farmers grow spring barley for malt or feed this year?

An oversupply of quality spring barley is likely to continue next year, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to stifle demand from brewers and distillers. The likely result will be continued…

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Linseed high price may prompt rise in spring area

Linseed is looking an increasingly attractive spring break crop, with the price of harvested seed at a five-year high and it being one of cheapest crops to grow. Prices have…


UK farmers could soon be growing haricot beans

UK farmers could soon be growing haricot beans used to manufacture baked beans thanks to a new initiative between an agronomy company and a university, offering growers a valuable new…


Premiums for malting barley set to rise into 2021

Malting barley premiums are predicted to nudge higher into the new year, reflecting a recovery from coronavirus lockdowns and a sharp fall in spring barley drillings next year. Premiums for…


UK soya growers needed to supply new premium market

Farmers are set to benefit from a new premium market for UK-grown soya, which is a key ingredient in flour improvers. UK Soya is working with ABN Mauri, the speciality…

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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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