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Grain marketing – and when to sell or store – will be discussed by analysts and growers at an AHDB Monitor Farm meeting this... Monitor farmers meet to discuss grain marketing

• Selling strategies and crop storage

• Marketing pools and forward selling

• Prospects for cereals and oilseeds

Grain marketing – and when to sell or store – will be discussed by analysts and growers at an AHDB Monitor Farm meeting this month.

Two AHDB market specialists will discuss grain marketing, the effect of input costs on margins, and what top performing farms do differently during the meeting on Tuesday, 21 February at Wainfleet, Lincolnshire.

Based seven miles inland from Skegness, second-generation farmers Gary and Debbie Willoughby oversee some 75ha of owned land, as well as some tenanted and contracted land. Arable crops include wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans and peas.

Market outlook

The meeting will include discussions around marketing pools, contracts, forward selling and niche crops. Other topics will encompass the effect of high input prices on the cost of production and margins – and the market outlook.

Wheat and oilseed rape prices have eased since the highs that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February. But with many growers buying inputs at 2022 prices for harvest 2023, good marketing will be vital to maintain margins.

UK feed wheat futures eased last month to around £232/t by mid-January. New crop contracts for November 2023 were also down, with competitive Russian wheat continuing to pressure European prices.

Despite increases in insurance costs for Russian ships, the AHDB says Russia’s success in two major purchase tenders from Turkey and Egypt shows that the country’s grain remains competitive on the global market.

Domestic market

UK grain prices continue to track continental markets. But the domestic market has been hit by a dip in domestic animal feed production, which fell to 5.41Mt from July to November 2022 – a six-year low and 5% lower than a year earlier.

With a reduction in animal feed production comes a decline in cereal usage. The AHDB says wheat usage in total feed production fell 3% from July to November, while barley usage was down 27% on the year.

Monitor Farms are part of AHDB’s Farm Excellence programme – a network of farmers dedicated to driving the industry forward by sharing best practice. Regular meetings are during are free and open to anyone interested in coming along.

For details about the Wainfleet Monitor Farm meeting, please email judith.stafford@ahdb.org.uk or visit