Market report: Bigger wheat crop for 2010 predicted

Winter crops are in good condition, with the open autumn allowing farmers to increase their winter wheat and oilseed rape areas, according to the HGCA.

Its latest issue of MI Prospects forecasts UK wheat production at 15-15.3m tonnes in 2010, 5%-7% up on this year.

Oilseed rape could increase by 2%, to 2m tonnes, while winter barley output is likely to fall by 4% to about 2.4m tonnes, with a marked shift away from malting varieties. Spring barley plantings could also drop significantly compared to last year.

Although a dry early autumn in southern and eastern areas delayed crop emergence, later rain produced rapid germination, and few crops are at risk, despite a heavy weed burden following a mild, wet November, adds the report.

“Elsewhere in the EU, the story is similar. Winter sowings were carried out under good conditions; with winter wheat and rapeseed sowings up, while winter barley is down. If conditions allow, we could be on track for large crops next season.”

Recent estimates from French analyst Strategie Grains see the total EU wheat area up 1% at 22.9m ha, with winter barley plantings down 0.3m ha to 5.4m ha, and spring barley forecast to drop by 0.5m ha to 7.7m ha.

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