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Grain & Fertiliser Gossip

by Graham Henderson –

Putter, putter, putter. Another 50 or so days of politics to come (every day!). I am filled to the gills with politics and I am sure many of you readers feel the same. It would be bearable if there were fewer lies told but we seem, across the world, to be hearing nonsense promises on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Elections in France, Germany and the UK this year will drive us all up the wall. There, that’s off my chest! Turning to farming, which is a much simpler subject (ha ha!), we seem to continue along the track of a lack of spring moisture in Europe, as is also the case in the USA. No doubt within a short time we could be protesting about an excess, but let’s hope not. I understand that in some areas of the UK we are in the driest winter for 20 years, with long range forecasts predicting very little rain over the next three months. For the many people who have been regular readers of ‘Farm Brief’ on a weekly basis, it’s sad to hear that the charismatic editor, Robert Bojduniak, has retired following heart surgery. Robert has been in farming journalism for over 40 years and he, together with Farm Brief, will be sorely missed in the future. I am sure we all wish him well in his well-earned retirement. I also understand that another good source of information; “Nogger” of Nogger’s Blog has recently died, which is very sad and I send my sincere commiserations to his family and friends.

Grain Gossip With not very much wheat about, and very little market activity as a result, merchants are twiddling their thumbs at the moment. Spot feed wheat for May can possibly trade for around £141/t ex-farm and £125/t ex-farm at harvest, with November £5/t higher. Barley on the spot market is down to £113/t ex-farm and for November £106/t. If you still have milling wheat in store it is only likely to fetch a £4/t premium over feed. The increase in sterling value caused by Theresa May’s election call has reduced UK values. Weather-wise; Western Europe is suffering from drought and Eastern Europe cold, and so there is a question mark against new crop prospects. Spot spring malting barley (Propino and Planet) can fetch around £150/t where there are shorts and, for harvest, the current value is around £130/t ex-farm. Interestingly a New Zealand farmer has broken the world record for wheat yield growing a 16.79t/ ha crop. The wheat was irrigated twice and 285kg/ ha of N was applied. The variety was English variety Oakley and grown on a silty clay soil with good water holding capacity. The record yield has been confirmed by Guinness World Records.

Fertiliser Fragments The breaking news story is the return of a blender to the market in significant force. Ex-Bunn staff led by David Harrod have reopened the old Payne Bros blending plant at Fakenham, Norfolk and will be trading as Payne Crop Nutrition Ltd, providing a full service similar to the one that was


Spot Global Grain Prices

Source: AHDB 155

LIFFE feed wheat 145

CBOT wheat CBOT maize


£ per tonne






85 Jan-16

Feb-16 Mar-16






operational by Payne Bros in the past. This will include quality blends in bulk or bags and straight nitrogen using King’s Lynn and other east coast ports as supply routes. The blending facility on the plant was historically second to none, but will be upgraded, and its storage facilities are already excellent. For the full story see page 8. Meanwhile prices have remained stable despite the changes in currency and CF Nitram stays around £238/t delivered to farm through May. Granular urea is currently around £267/t delivered. There is little trading at the moment. Hot off the press, as from April 24th, Nidera UK will become COFCO International UK Ltd.

Rugby Ramblings We at last have the detail of the Lions’ tour party, which came with a few surprises of those left out and the last minute additions. Perhaps the most surprising losers are Englishmen Hartley, Lancaster and Brown but with only two Scotsmen in the party there are some complaining that it is a little unbalanced. I was surprised to see neither of the Gray brothers included but there is strong competition in the second row from all nations. The addition of Jonathan Joseph by Gatland at the last minute was another surprise. The 10-match series starts in the North Island on 3rd June with the first Test not until 24th June at Eden Park, Auckland. There will be a further five provincial matches beforehand which should give Gatland a good opportunity to select his first Test team. I stuck my neck out a day or two ago and chose my team for the first Test before the list of the touring party was announced. To give you a laugh here is my selection: 1. M Vunipola; 2. R Best; 3. T Furlong; 4. M Itoje; 5. AW Jones; 6. P O’Mahoney; 7. B Vunipola; 8. S Warburton; 9. C Murray; 10. J Sexton; 11. E Daly; 12. O Farrell; 13. B Te’o; 14. G North; 15. S Hogg.






Feb-17 Mar-17


You will be able to view my selections against the reality in due course. I have thrown two wild cards into the mix – Elliot Daly and Ben Te’o, as I think Warren Gatland can be that way inclined. Meanwhile, Eddie Jones has named a squad of 31 for England’s two Test series in Argentina in June. Of these, 15 are uncapped – an interesting bunch which should help England selection for the future. Dylan Hartley has been named as captain. It is hoped that there will be no need to reduce the team by replacements to New Zealand. Call me on 07979 537777; or e-mail: to talk about selling grain or buying your fertiliser requirements. ■

- Balanced advice and quality service Graham Henderson N.D.A.

07979 537777 or 01394 286613 email: Talk m to grain e for sal Direct buying agent for pfertiliseers & urcha all combinable crops ses

specialising in malting barley and other grains for Muntons Malt.

Direct selling agent for fertilisers trading UK solid, liquid and suspension fertiliser from UK producers and imported nitrogen. May 2017


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