Tillage: Volatility is the only constant in grain trading
Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30
The strong winds and wet weather of the last week has surely put a stop to sowing for this year.
This is a good thing as seed is now better off in the bag than struggling against all the likely problems in a poor seed bed, including water logging, slugs, birds and aphids.
While temperatures over the last few weeks have continued to remain high and above average the level of rainfall has meant that all field work is difficult or impossible. Met Eireann records show that the mean air temperature for the summer months of June, July and August was above the long term average (LTA) and they also show that the rainfall during the summer, while variable, was also above average.
In October the mean air temperature also remained above average but it was the driest October in at least five years with approximately two thirds of the normal rainfall. This has led to a major increase in autumn sowings.
November is however making up for this dry time with the result that most field work is now complete for the year. In addition to challenging sowing and early growing conditions the need for higher seed rates required just added to costs.
Most crops have been sown in good conditions and are reasonably well established. This will help many crops to survive in fields that are more prone to flooding.
Farmers would now be better employed in the office doing the paperwork. This is the time to analyse yields and returns. Particular focus should be concentrated on costs.
Unfortunately there is very little you can do about the end price, except keeping a close eye during the year on the futures market and opting to sell some of your grain at a few different times during the year to minimise the risk from selling all your produce at the one time and probably the worst time of the year when everyone else is in the same market.