This month’s column from the Malton Gazette and Herald: Ploughing on as Harvest is Delayed

In her monthly column, EMMA CROFT of Anderson Grain Marketing Ltd analyses the global grain market

BY the time this column had come around I would have thought that harvest 2012 would be almost complete, but for many farmers across our region this is far from the case.

The latest harvest summary from the Home Grown Cereals Authority has confirmed that while 98 per cent of the UK winter barley harvest is now complete, alongside 95 per cent of the oil seed rape crop, 60 per cent of this year’s winter wheat crop is still in the ground, the majority of which is confined to regions above the Humber.

Although the winter barley crop has turned out to be ‘nationally average’, with yields slightly above 6.3T/Ha, it has perhaps surpassed what many of us were initially expecting.

Malting quality has been good, although claims for low bushel weights and high levels of screenings have certainly made a dent in the already thin winter malt premiums. OSR crops have done reasonably well despite a few disappointments after last year’s bumper crop and prices have remained firm, with £390/T ex-farm for September movement.

Early spring malting barley samples are encouraging and spot movement is currently trading at £190/T ex-farm with £200/T available further forward.

As for feed wheat, we have seen a whole range of quality with variable bushel weights, hagberg and proteins.Accurate sampling will be key to marketing this year.

Further afield the ‘drought-like conditions’ experienced in Southern Russia that I wrote about last month have since materialised into some rather drastic crop downgrades. Russian grain analysts SovEcon have made several alterations to this year’s wheat crop forecast this month, with the latest figure standing at 38M/T; 2.5M/T lower than the 40.5M/T produced back in 2010 when the Russian grain export ban was introduced.

Russia’s agricultural ministry have, however, continued to assure that they still have ‘no current plans’ no implement any export restrictions at this stage.

Across in drought-hit America, market attention has now shifted away from the poor condition of this year’s maize corn crop (the arrival of any rainfall now would do little to revive the plants at this stage) and onto soybeans.

As the crop enters it’s ‘pod setting’ phase rainfall is not only crucial, but could potentially help recover the plants from recent drought damage. As harvesting of both crops rapidly approaches for southern areas this month, weather watching is likely to continue.


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