Set-aside to offset lowest wheat returns in 30 years?

By FWi staff

WHEAT farmers on marginal land should consider voluntary set-aside following the news that wheat returns are at their lowest for more than a generation.

Analysts at the Home-Grown Cereals Authority have calculated that last seasons wheat revenues were the lowest in at least 30 years.

Farmers received £860/ha for the average wheat crop during 1997/98. Area aid accounted for almost one-third of revenue.

Voluntary set-aside, at around £200/ha, may be an option for farmers on marginal land where yields are consistently below average, says the latest HGCA report.

The coming season looks like offering little more than a small Sterling-driven recovery, pointing to the likelihood of another year of disappointingly low revenues from cereal crops.

On the markets, the continued potential for large wheat crops in the UK and Europe look likely to push the market lower.

Wheat for September fell by 65p to close on Friday at £68.80/ tonne.

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