The grain harvest has been in top gear this week and Irish tillage farmers are awaiting a price for much of that grain, as the vast majority did not forward sell their product.

A host of factors are at play in grain markets and at present the heatwaves in Europe are having a big impact on grain production, which will, in turn, affect availability and price.

Maize is one crop that always plays a huge role in grain price here in Ireland.

According to Reuters, Strategie Grains has slashed the EU maize forecast by 10 million tonnes (Mt). This is due to drought conditions and would place the crop at a 15-year low of 55.4Mt.

It also reports that this would place EU maize imports for the 2022/2023 season at 20Mt. This is an increase of 3Mt.

The monthly forecast saw the EU maize production forecast drop by 15% from the July estimate.

US maize

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) crop progress report places 46% of the maize (or corn as it's known in the States) crop in good condition, 12% is reported to be in excellent condition, 26% is in fair condition and 16% is in poor or very poor condition.

Some 49% of the soils surveyed in that report are in adequate condition for moisture in the topsoil, while 4% have surplus moisture.

Twenty-seven percent are short on moisture and 20% are very short on moisture. It is a similar picture for the subsoil.

Grain prices

Barley and maize prices for November are both hovering around the €330/t mark.

Earlier in the week, Andy Doyle reported that French maize production is forecast to drop by 18.5%. You can read the Grain Trends report here.