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Farmers urged to forward sell

Tillage farmers have been urged to look at forward selling a greater proportion of this year's harvest as crop projections suggest that global production could be up significantly on 2011.

The latest forecast from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is for a substantial increase in the American crop area and production this spring.

Forward prices for Irish wheat, barley and oats remain steady and Noel Delany, of the IFA grain committee, said farmers would be wise to hedge against any possible fall in the market.

Up to €212/t is on offer for spot wheat and €208 to €210/t on offer for barley, with €210/t available for oats.

New crop dried wheat and barley prices have regained some ground since Thursday, with €190-192/t on offer for wheat and €184-185/t for barley. New crop oats were on offer at €190/t.

The maize area in the US is expected to increase to 94m acres, up 2.1m acres on last year. This would be the biggest maize area seen since 1944. Soyabean sowings are also projected to increase by 1m acres to 75m acres, while wheat sowings are forecast to increase by 3.6m acres to 58m acres.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is becoming an increasingly important player in the world grain market.

Maize exports for the coming marketing year are forecast to increase by at least 1.5m tonnes and reach a record 14m tonnes. Wheat production is expected to hit 22.8m tonnes.

Declan O'Brien

Indo Farming