Crop conditions improve compared to last year: Grain market daily

Friday, 3 December 2021

Market commentary

  • Global grains rebounded yesterday as UK wheat futures (May-22) gained £6.95/t across the day to close at £235.20/t. In addition, both the Nov 22 & 23 contract gained £4.80/t, to close at £204.80/t and £186.10/t respectively.
  • Global grain markets have been tailing off over the last week or so due to concerns over the new Covid-19 variant. However, this fall has been reversed by a series of import tenders (Egypt, Tunisia & Jordan) that have come around due to the price drop, and fears over what the rain has done to the Australian wheat crop.
  • The latest FAO cereal price index rose was estimated to rise by 3.1% in November on October. This is 23.2% higher than the same time a year ago, with global grain prices hitting the highest level since 2011.
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Anthony Speight

Senior Analyst Cereals and Oilseeds

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Crop conditions improve compared to last year

Today we release our first crop condition report for the 2021/22 growing season. This report summarises the condition of major GB cereal and oilseeds crops as of the end of November 2021. So, what do the results show?

Crop development as of November 2021

The weather was kinder this autumn compared with previous years. Mild, dry and settled conditions for most allowed farmers to focus on planned winter cropping. Clement weather allowed for good spraying and drilling conditions across the whole of the UK. All of this in total has resulted in good crop establishment to the end of November.

  Crop condition results as of November 2021


As at the end of November, 84% of the winter wheat crop was in good-excellent condition. This is versus 57% last season. Only 4% of the crop was stated to be in poor-very poor condition.

Winter wheat drilling was almost complete by the end of November. In September, 27% of winter wheat was drilled, a further 62% in October and 10% in November.


As at the end of November, 90% of winter barley was in a good-excellent condition, with only 2% poor-very poor. This is some 32 percentage points up on November 2020, when just 58% of the crop was in good-excellent condition.

Drilling was completed in a timely manner, with 57% planted in September, 43% in October and the final 1% in November.


By the end of November, 79% of winter oats were in good-excellent condition, versus 68% the year before. Drilling of the crop is almost complete, with 38% planted in September, 57% in October and 4% in November. Drilling conditions have been excellent and good emergence recorded.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape (OSR) crops are 78% good-excellent at the end of November, about the same as year earlier conditions (77%). Good establishment has been achieved across many regions, although a small proportion have failed due to the dry September.

During August, 76% of the crop was drilled, the remaining 24% in September. Favourable conditions throughout October and November have allowed for good growth, resulting in crops with fair canopies and leaf cover.

Our next crop condition report will be released at the beginning of April 2022. This will allow a first look on a national level as to how crops have fared over the winter.

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