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April '24 Farm Briefing - Wet wet wet

Updated: Apr 30

Impact of wet weather

The wet weather continues, currently well beyond the data for Southern England up to the end of Feb with rainfall since October 2023 almost exactly double the long term average for the region (Source: Southern Water).

Cefetra Grain provide the latest update on the impact of the local wet weather and other impacts on the grain market. With weather variations adding to other uncertainties, County Insurance have been providing insurance to farms for 40 years and have an expert team able to discuss your cover needs. TVE Hire & Sales are the official Bobcat dealer in Southern England and always have a range of loaders and excavators in stock with great finance offers and Bobcare service plans included. As more farms consider taking on or expanding Countryside Stewardship / SFI schemes, Farm Economics now provides full service from application through to ongoing record keeping, all kept in one place on the Farm Economics App. Orion Farming Group serve over 350 farms, mostly across Southern Central England and you can hear from one of our Members, Becci Berry, on her experience of Orion.



Since last month’s write up, wheat and barley markets tested previous lows once more. After failing to break lower, values bounced back up to around £5.00 higher than they were at the end of February at the time of writing (22st March). Oilseed rape markets have seen a reasonable rally in recent days also, with old crop reaching £370+ ex farm in some areas and £380+ for Nov. We see funds covering short positions and taking profits as the market takes a breather after a very negative start to the year. That being said, there is no big change to the bearish narrative at present, with a big over supply on the old crop remaining an issue. China cancelled/postponed wheat vessels from the US and Australia in recent weeks, not helping the current bearish sentiment.

European S+D’s are beginning to look more “balanced” than “heavy” on the barley front, as persistent rains slow spring drilling progress across large areas of the continent. France is around 45-50% drilled vs 85-90% this time last year and Germany is facing similar issues. Interestingly, France is currently more or less following the 2019/20 drilling pace (the slowest in the past 5 years). It’s possible that only 5-10% of spring crops have gone in here in the UK – but no official figures have been published. With rains expected across the next couple of weeks, it’s hard to imagine these figures will improve quickly. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that the new crop prices will rally if these weather issues continue. Stocks look balanced, not tight, and there is plenty of wheat and corn expected for Harvest 24, we could however see barley premiums narrow back down vs wheat, if these issues continue.

The outlook for new crop global stocks remains heavy, with around 4MT surplus of wheat and barley combined according to current estimates. Hence, there is no real change to the bearish narrative at present as discussed earlier. 

On 22nd March, Brussels officially proposed sanctions on Russian and Belarus grains and oilseeds coming into the EU. The proposition still needs to be validated by member states through a qualified majority vote, the result of which may already be known by the time this report is read. The suggested tariffs are: €95 import tax on Russian and Belarus grains, along with 50% tax on Russian oilseeds and oilseed products. The aim of the suggested tariffs is to try and prevent weaker European commodity prices whilst reducing Russian income revenue from EU exports. There is still some ambiguity around the whole situation at present, and this could just be an aggressive threat towards the Kremlin. Certainly a story to keep an eye on, with the EU taking around a third of Russian Sunflower exports. This could have been a story that spooked funds into covering some positions/taking some profits earlier in the week.

Current levels seem to be bringing forward some reasonable old crop parcels, with growers pleased to be back £10/15 off the bottom of the market. New crop remains a little quieter with some uncertainty as to what might be harvested this summer given the current weather. Those that usually take some cover on new crop sales in advance have already done so and are waiting to see how crops look in a couple of months, once we get some better weather and crops pull away, before doing any more.

Please do get in touch if you would like any prices on old OR new crop, along with any fertiliser top ups on both liquid and solid as we begin the usage period.

To find out more, please contact the team at Cefetra Grain: Simon Wilcox, Manager – UK Farm Grain Origination, 07774 822507,; Josef Grinczer, Farm Grain Buyer, 07712 325197, ; Ian Jervis, Farm Grain Buyer, 07497 185361,




Mat Jones of TVE says "We have a great range of Bobcat Excavators, Loaders and Telehandlers, and are proud to provide Bobcat machines and Bobcare service plans to a growing number of farms in Southern England".

Contact TVE for all Bobcat Sales and Enquiries.



Building on the Farm Economics App for recording required information which is now used across over 20 farms, Farm Economics will now make the applications for you for CSS and SFI, and keep all the relevant records together for you and the inspectors in one easy App.

Geoff Venn from Silkstead Farm in Hampshire has used the Farm Economics App for both Red Tractor Inspections and Countryside Stewardship Scheme records since 2022, saying "It's not just the system that is easy to use and ensures that all my records are in one place, but it's also really useful that the Consultant will help to collate the records and let me know what is missing!"

Geoff Venn, Hants



Becci Berry, an Orion Farming Group Member, summarises why she is part of Orion.


Contact us to find out more about any of these topics


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