Dry weather is becoming a concern in many crop-growing areas this week.

International grain prices rose again last week due to concerns about cold and dry weather in the US, where maize and spring wheat planting is under way.

According to the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) weekly market report, weather has also been less ideal in Brazil, parts of Europe and Canada.

Speculative traders buying into maize was also potentially a factor in price rises.

Low stocks of wheat and maize in the major exporting countries places extra importance on the 2020-21 Brazilian maize and northern hemisphere 2021-22 grain crops.

Safrinha maize crops

Concerns are rising for the second - or Safrinha - maize crops in Brazil. Dry weather there is coinciding with the grain filling period.

Last week's Brazilian crop progress report showed that for the second maize crop, 22% of crops were flowering and 1% were at grain fill.

Rain is expected this week in some areas, which could partially ease concerns.

The AHDB also reports that soils are abnormally dry in Canada, where spring crop planting is soon to start, but only light showers are forecast.


Closer to home, French crop condition scores for spring barley show the effect of recent frosts.

Eighty-eight percent of spring barley is now rated good or very good, down four percentage points on the previous week.

There were also smaller declines for wheat and winter barley.

Although the scores are still relatively high, dry weather is forecast for the next 10 days. This is causing concerns for the crops.

In Germany, wheat crops are two to three weeks behind usual progress, but are in a positive condition, according to DRV. This is despite recent cold and dry weather.

The association for farm co-operatives raised its estimate of the German 2021 wheat crop by 0.3million tonne (Mt) to 22.6Mt last week.