Weather batters crops and lifts prices

The horrendous weather across northern Europe has battered most crops and ramped up prices for remaining old-crop wheat as harvest is delayed further.

Grainfarmers’ Simon Ingle said millers had been forced to turn to imported wheat to cover some positions that they had expected to fill with new-crop wheat.

“Any old crop balances on farms have accelerated in value, bringing feed wheat prices with them.”

Old-crop milling wheat surged £8/t on the week to £131/t last week (July 4) went to press, with some millers understood to have paid up to £150/t in some areas for full-spec bread wheat.

Feed wheat and barley both improved £6/t, with some merchants looking for old-crop barley.

Delayed harvest

Farmers across the country have reported significant regrowth among barley crops that will have to be sprayed off, delaying harvest by another two weeks.

Mr Ingle said he expected prices to remain firm until the trade was confident of a harvest date.

Potato crops in many parts of the country have been hit hard as warm, damp conditions sparked outbreaks of blight.

Denis Alder, head of market information at the British Potato Council, said flooding had probably put paid to 500-1000ha of the crop. “This year we’ve seen better early growth and bulking up, and would have been expecting yields about 5% higher this year.”

This year growers had planted 128,500ha (317,000 acres), a rise of 1.5% on the year, he added.

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