Farmer Focus: Possibility of up to 40% rise in wheat prices

I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me grain marketing feels very different this year and although prices are at an all time high, so are input prices.

Usually, we are late season sellers and storers when there’s a reasonable margin over cost of production.

However, it’s getting tempting to sell early, as I can see prices above £300/t for next July for feed wheat. It’s very tempting.

About the author

Keith Challen
Arable Farmer Focus writer
Keith Challen manages 1,200ha of heavy clay soils in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire, for Belvoir Farming Company. Cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape and elderflowers. The farm is also home to the Belvoir Fruit Farms drinks business.
Read more articles by Keith Challen

The World Bank says there are possibilities for up to 40% increases on current prices – which takes us above £400/t next year. Then the temptation shifts to not selling yet.

See also: Beans and oats bicrop helps eliminate fertiliser on Cambs farm

I guess in reality doing some of one and some of the other will be the best risk-avoidance strategy.

On the whole the farm looks well and the use of inhibitors in the liquid nitrogen looks to be a good decision, as we had sufficient rain after application to wash it in.

If we stuck to our normal three to four application strategy, we may have been worried by now about volatilisation with the final application. I guess we’ll see at harvest.

The winter beans are looking stunning this year. Early drilling really suits them on our heavy clays.

Currently, they are mid-flowering and carrying about 15% more flowers this year than normal. I hope this bodes well for yield.

Drilling spring barley in less than ideal conditions may have paid off for us this year. The crops got away and although dry on top, the roots are following the moisture down.

An inch of rain would be very welcome right now, but we aren’t suffering like others.

The cool dry weather seems to be suiting our elderflowers and although late frosts hit early florets hard, there seems to be some compensatory growth since.

Flower numbers look slightly higher than average, which is a good sign, and with picking expected at the end of May, they too could do with an inch of rain to help with flower size.

If you’re local to the Vale of Belvoir and want to earn some extra cash picking elders, please get in touch.   

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