Big wheat crop forecast next year

24 July 2001

Big wheat crop forecast next year

By Tom Allen-Stevens

BRITISH growers might be facing a poor harvest this season, but next year could see the biggest wheat crop ever, claims plant breeders Nickerson UK.

Initial orders of wheat seed indicate that a shortfall in wheat plantings last year will be dramatically reversed this autumn if better weather returns.

This will lead to a possible doubling of the surplus that will have to find the quality-sensitive export market, according to Nickerson.

Last autumns bad weather meant a 20% shortfall in plantings, said the companys wholesale sales manager Lee Robinson.

That means there are is a lot of extra break-crop and set-aside land about, which is likely to go into first wheat this autumn.

This will contribute to what the trade is already predicting could be a mammoth 18 million tonne wheat harvest next year.

Mr Robinson said the UK feed wheat market was already fully supplied on the present area. Extra tonnage would face low prices on the export market.

But futures prices are not reflecting these fears. The November 2002 LIFFE price for feed wheat closed steady at 76.50 per tonne on Monday (23 July).

See more