Feed wheat is the most profitable combinable crop to grow next season after jumping ahead of pea and bean crops, according to provisional data from industry bible the John Nix Pocketbook.
The winter crop leapfrogs this season’s top three crops – marrowfat peas, blue peas and winter beans – with a gross margin of £658/ha for harvest 2016, following its previous fourth spot.
Milling winter wheat also moves up three places to second from fifth, with a gross margin of £638/ha. while spring malting barley comes in third at £524/ha.
Despite winter oilseed rape suffering from pest damage and low rapeseed prices, it leapt into fourth spot at £522/ha from 12th place the previous year.
Graham Redman, partner at the Andersons Centre and author of the John Nix Pocketbook, said the changes illustrate the volatility of grain, oilseeds and pulse market prices.
He warned that with grain prices so low, growers could be drilling a crop this autumn that is likely to make a loss, so they should look carefully at the finances.
“Do a budget and work out what would happen if the price were to move £10/t either way.
“All figures at the moment are estimates, and in such a volatile market it’s important to build in such sensitivity tests,” he says.