top of page

May '24 Farm Briefing - Late planting and vaccine efficacy

Updated: May 1

As we finally move on from well above average rainfall, most farms are able to get on the land, although as Cefetra Grain note below, yields for many will now be affected by the late planting.  For livestock, research indicates that farm fridges storing vaccines tend to breach top end storage temperatures significantly more during the spring and summer. Global leader in remote storage technology, Beyond, provide more information on solutions to ensure vaccine efficacy is maintained. 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. 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. Additional deals are available on various Bobcat Parts.



At long last the weather has turned drier here in the UK and on the continent.  This has allowed growers to catch up with field work, fertilising, spraying and drilling, although some very heavy ground is still too wet to do anything with.  The French spring barley crop is thought to be over 85% drilled, with UK spring crops perhaps between 50-60% complete at time of writing (19th April).  It is certainly expected that crops recently sown and going in over the next week or two will have a reduced yield – the weather will continue to play a key role in this outcome too. The general feedback now is that crops are going in nicely, just unfortunately not 4 weeks prior.

Graph 1. Showing French Spring Barley Drilling Progress

Tensions in the Middle East continue to rise with Israel having now fired missiles/drones back at Iran after their initial assault just over a week ago.  Neither of these events have had any real impact on markets, as oil generally looks weak and commodities remain unchanged.  This will be down to the fact that the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) region are mainly importers of grain and these conflicts don’t directly affect that.

Mixed weather in South America is causing a few issues at present, and we see predictions of yield  being reduced on the Brazilian Safrinah crop on the back of both dry weather and an unexpected pest outbreak.  Argentina is seeing the opposite, as the soyabean harvest stalls week-on-week due to heavy rains.

With EU production estimates decreasing, S+D’s for new crop begin to look more balanced as opposed to heavy.  This means that there is potential for markets to find some strength on the back of EU weather issues, should they arise.  This was not the case a few months ago, with large carry outs expected from 23/24 season and higher production figures for 24/25.

Black Sea wheat production estimates have also been revised down with analysts shaving off 1Mmt from the Russia crop so far on the back of hot and dry weather.  With May being a key growing month for the crop, absence of rain for another few weeks could become an issue.  This is certainly an area to be monitored, but not necessarily a market moving narrative at this early stage.  Latest weather models do show some rains but we will have to watch to see how that pans out.

Interestingly on Monday 22nd April, grains had a significant jump higher as Fund managers adjust their positions.  In simple terms – with funds holding close to a record short in futures markets, of which most expire in May, they needed to buy back in the market in order avoid being obliged to produce the physical goods.  Now on the 23rd April, the market is beginning to retrace – which could mean that they are re-installing their short on a further forward position (Nov24).

Technicalities aside, in essence the spike is on the back of huge financial shuffling and not necessarily because the market tone is improving long-term.  No matter what the reason was, it gave several growers a short-lived opportunity to mark the book with £200+/t for new crop wheat pre-Christmas. 

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,






As we finally get to the warmer weather, we enter the time of year where livestock vaccine effectiveness can be put at risk by farm fridges not providing the correct storage temperatures.

Livestock vaccines are crucial for animal health, providing a cost-effective method to prevent animal disease, enhance the efficiency of food production and reduce or prevent transmission of infections. Research (HERE) shows in a study of 17 farms that almost 60% of farm fridges had at least one temperature recording above the World Health Organisation standard upper limit of 8 degrees centigrade, and just over half the fridges recorded temperatures below the recommended 2 degrees centigrade. Research indicates that the top end 8 degree centigrade level was breached in farm fridges significantly more between March and August.

The impact of breaching these temperatures depends on the duration of breach and type of vaccines, but there is a vast research base highlighting that temperature breaches will render vaccines much less effective thereby wasting money and most importantly not achieving the aim for which they were purchased.

Founded in 2005, Beyond is one of the leading global solution providers of cold-chain monitoring, working across 150 countries with clients including UNICEF, The World Health Organization, The International Committee for the Red Cross and the Pan American Health Organisation.

Beyond have recently started to supply remote temperature monitoring devices to UK farms to ensure vaccines kept in farm fridges stay within the temperature limits to ensure they are effective.

Along with the monitoring device is a remote alert system (via App, email and/or text message).

You can find out more about Beyond and the devices by contacting Adam at Demand Economics on 07907 581094 or clicking the button below.



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


Contact us to find out more about any of these topics


27 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page