Farm inputs at a glance

Farm inputs at a glance

These figures to show key changes in spending on-farm, looking at costs such as feed, fertiliser and fuel. Watch the video below or flick through the infographics gallery.

Key farm inputs explained


Crude oil shows a year on year increase of over 10 per cent, but this hides the volatility of the past year. The high in October 2018 was £61.02/barrel and the low in December 2018 was £44.90/barrel. The 2018 average at £52.26/barrel was the highest since 2014 but lower than the high of £69.08/barrel in 2012.

During April and into May 2019 prices continued to strengthen, influenced by falling US gasoline stockpiles and tensions in the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, diesel prices reflect the movement in crude oil.

Latest fuel prices

Our fuel price tracker page features monthly price trends red diesel and crude oil.

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Most non-domestic electricity users have seen a year on year increase in prices from 8.24p/kWh in 2010 to 11.37p/kWh in 2018. This represents a nearly 38 per cent increase over that period, with a year on year increase of 7.7 per cent between 2017 and 2018. The year to end of April 2019 has seen much volatility in prices, according to Growsave's year-ahead contract information, with a low of £47.89/MWh week 22 March 2019 and a high of £61.72/MWh week 21 September 2018, a 22 per cent difference.

Non-domestic gas prices have been more consistent with a gradual increase from 2010 to 2012 to 2.25p/kWh, a peak in 2013 at an average of 2.97p/kWh, and then a decline year on year to 2017 when the price averaged 2.07p/kWh. The 2018 average of 2.32p/kWh was a 2017 to 2018 year on year increase of 11.3 per cent. Growsave gas season and day ahead prices indicate a downward pressure on prices, although a recent uplift is affected by the volatile carbon market.

Monitor your energy use

Use our handy energy calculator to work out what it costs to run an XkW piece of equipment.

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Hay and straw

Straw prices were fairly consistent from 2010 to 2017, fluctuating around £42 to £52 per tonne (big bales), with a premium for barley straw. 2018 saw a significant increase with, as a result of high demand due to the 'Beast from the East', spring prices topping £100 per tonne then dropping back in the later part of the year to between £68 and £73 per tonne. Due to the milder spring and less demand pressure, straw prices in Q1 of 2019 were averaging £67 per tonne for big bale barley straw and £52 per tonne for wheat straw.

With hay-making dependent on key weather conditions, the pattern for big bale hay prices has been slightly different. Between 2010 and 2017 averages were between £46 and £77 per tonne but with an outlier in 2011 at £106 per tonne. 2018 season averages were £89 per tonne but the early season hid a Q4 average peak of £105 per tonne. 2019 Q1 has strengthened further at £115 per tonne but dropped back in April 2019 to £103 per tonne.

Latest hay and straw prices

Find out the latest prices for big bale hay, big square baled barley straw and big square baled wheat straw in England and Wales. 

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According to the International Fertiliser Association (IFA), world fertiliser demand remained relatively subdued in 2018, with global fertiliser markets facing depressed or near stagnant crop prices, rising energy prices and weakening currencies in some large fertiliser consuming countries. This affected affordability and demand during the year. Global balances showing an increase in 2018 combined with modest demand growth led to a weakening of pricing at the end of 2018.

In the UK, both prices for imported and domestic AN rose in the later half of 2018. Imported AN peaked at £274 per tonne and domestic at £293 per tonne. Prices have then continued to ease down to £254 per tonne for imported and £264 per tonne for domestic product in March 2019.

Prices for Granular Urea have continued to weaken in Q1 of 2019 as importers look to clear stocks held at UK ports.

Latest fertiliser information

Find out monthly average prices and subscribe to regular updates.

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Download the poster

You can download the gallery infographics in a handy A4 poster. Click the button below for your Farm Inputs: At A Glance pdf.

Farm Inputs: At A Glance

More on markets and prices

Use this simple reference guide for updates on key market prices. There is also contact information for our market intelligence team.

Key Market Prices and Trends

Gallery: Farm inputs at a glance

Click on the thumbnail images below to browse the infographics on farm inputs, which look at costs such as fuel, feed and fertiliser.