Farmer Focus Arable: Andrew Blenkiron is busy at harvest

A good day was had by all at the National Organic Cereals event in Andover, Hampshire.

Techniques and new varieties to the fore, it was also interesting to speak to others about similar issues. Plenty of confidence from all concerned was the message of the day.

Has anyone used the recent upturn in the cereals market as an opportunity to cash their wheat futures options, or are you regretting not having taking one out? It just shows that even the most expensive things in life quite often become a good investment.

How far can the price rise before the realisation of high world grain stocks kick in, or will the City traders continue to drive the paper price well beyond the “true” price? If we knew the answer to these questions then we certainly wouldn’t bother to waste our energy growing the crop, which for many has only just reached the true cost of production.

Still the new combine rolls on, nothing quite like sitting in the cab with a big crop rolling in, and this was very much been the case with the majority of our winter barley. My delight came when Chris was most frustrated that he couldn’t fit it all into the planned store. I fear that he won’t have the same problem with the wheat.

I recently stewarded an oilseed rape competition for our local Holt Agricultural Discussion Club which, with a healthy 18 entries, was challenging for the judge. Let’s hope he picked the right one. Healthy competition in business is always good and I really enjoy the fun of entering. With the other crop and livestock competitions also being judged, the wait until next February’s presentation night will be a long one.

Here’s to a trouble-free harvest.

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