Growing cereals for exports

Monday, 18 February 2019

Paul Temple runs Wold Farm, a mixed arable and beef farm, growing wheat, barley, oilseed rape, vining peas, grass leys and rye. He is the current AHDB sector chair for Cereals & Oilseeds.

We grow wheat for seed and commercially, with land not suited to producing good group 1 milling wheat but capable of producing good group 3 soft wheat. The two biofuel plants in the North East, when running, changed demand patterns and we are keeping an eye on how it will change now the plants have closed. Our variety choice, using the Recommended Lists, is determined to ensure both wide market options and good agronomic characteristics.

When the biofuel plants closed, it brought back the possible need to have an export-suitable variety. When producing seed crops like we are, you are trying to look at what will be required for sowing in 2019, harvested in 2020 and possibly not reaching the market until 2021.

When we’re growing for exports, we grow fewer varieties and ensure varietal segregation. This allows more marketing options and provides more consistent testing and knowledge of what is in the store. It may not automatically lead to a higher price, but it certainly helps and reduces the problems of load testing and provides better opportunities for meeting specific market needs.

After Brexit, we’ll all need to think much wider on markets, both the threats from new competition and the opportunities we will need to look for. We don’t know yet what the access to our usual current EU export markets will be like, but as we look like having an exportable surplus in 2019 we have to be market-aware now.

Find out more about growing for the export market

This article is taken from Grain Outlook, spring 2019