The winter barley and wheat crops continue to show very good, healthy growth at quite forward stages for this time of year. Winter barley is just beginning to show signs of shooting, with awns emerging in many crops and in some case almost full ear emergence being achieved. This would indicate, unless conditions slow the crops down, that harvest could begin in this part of the country by mid-July.
Wheat is also quite forward but not as distinctly as the barley and in general all crops are quite light in disease at this stage. Early sown (late February) and later sown (early April) spring crops are, practically without exception, looking very well established and also light in disease. The crops sown between these periods are only slightly poorer looking with some headlands showing slight stress from capped soils following heavier rain at that time. Generally, there is still a great deal of potential for all winter and spring cereals to perform well this season.
Partly due to the comments above on crop potential, which is similar to both west and east Europe, and partly due to currency and one or two other factors, the markets have drifted slightly over the past few weeks with a bearish mood on new crop wheat futures also easing the old crop values back.
There is still a feeling that there isn’t a vast amount of wheat lingering in store but having reached May, and the harvest likely to be early, it is probable that the current sizeable difference between old and new crop wheat will diminish some point before too long with the old crop values likely to be the ones to suffer.
Old crop barley is still proving tight with very little extra grain being offered from farms even though most cattle are out on grass now and sheep aren’t being fed as heavily either. This indicates that there won’t be much of a carry-over of stored barley into the new season and, with the anticipated high demand for malting this harvest, barley for feed and pearling markets could continue to be tight on availability.
Values have softened slightly on old crop barley, generally following wheat to some degree, but it is likely to be slower than wheat to correct the old crop price toward new crop values.
If you have any questions about the trends we've seen in grain growth, yield and quality this month, or if you'd like to know how Silvery Tweed can help you with your cereal needs, contact our sales director Mark Jackson on 01289 307419.