Farmer Focus: Andrew Hunter says grain maize price is poor

With little rainfall, this autumn has been in total contrast to last year’s.

Drilling has gone reasonably well in all three countries and we’re basically finished.

We’re combining grain maize in Hungary and Serbia, with pretty good yields, though the market is poor. In Hungary it’s only £55-60/t.

Our new potato store is full and we’re trying to get the new grading line into place. There are a few potatoes left in the field, as the weather has been kind and they’re really not worth anything yet – less than £100/t washed, packed and delivered. We really need cold weather to improve the market a bit.

We’ve finished all our machinery investments in time to complete the grant scheme we started last year and so just need to wait for the funds to come through.

The global financial market is making life interesting, with credit more or less unavailable, and we now know what IMF stands for – Inspired by Magyar Farming. All three countries we operate in have asked for help.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to participate in the privatisation of a farm near us in Serbia, as the auction is only three weeks away. We don’t have enough time to complete the proper due diligence. But neither has anybody else, so there’s either already a designated buyer or it will not sell.

We’re trying to get our business plans done for next year and progress a Ukrainian grain drier and storage project.

We have finished the drier building in Serbia, although, in theory, we’re not allowed to use it. It needs a couple more rainforests to be made into paper to satisfy the authorities first.

It’s a similar story with the new workshop and potato store in Hungary, which we’re still trying to get permission to use.