Combines began to move on Wednesday of this week and tillage farmers who were lucky enough to get a break in the weather made the most of it.

Winter barley was the priority for most and there are still large amounts of winter barley to be harvested.

Some crops are lodged and rain has beaten them into the ground, making them harder to cut, especially in the current conditions.

Straw was baled by some on Thursday. Up to this, much of the straw across the country remained on the ground after cutting.

Winter oats

Winter oats have also been cut and some growers have even started cutting winter oilseed rape.

While some oilseed rape crops have a while to go before they are ready to harvest, reports were that some crops were under pressure to be cut.

Heavy rain is due again on Saturday and more rain is forecast for Sunday.

Monday and Tuesday look to be drier days, but there is rain in the forecast out to Wednesday, so chances to get work done remain limited.

Grain prices

Meanwhile, grain prices have increased significantly this week. Wednesday saw the biggest movement.

The expiration of the Black Sea grain deal and dry weather are some of the factors creating concerns around supply.

When the deal expired on Monday, prices did not see too much movement on Monday or Tuesday.

However, reports of attacks on port cities in Ukraine most likely drove concerns in markets as the week went on. Port infrastructure is reported to be damaged, along with grain.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General António Guterres stated that: “The Secretary General strongly condemns the Russian Federation attacks against port facilities in Odesa and other Ukrainian Black Sea ports.”

It also stated: “These attacks are also having an impact well beyond Ukraine. We are already seeing the negative effect on global wheat and corn prices, which hurts everyone, but especially vulnerable people in the global south.”

Price increases

Wednesday saw a big increase in prices over the day on French markets with the December wheat price increasing by €17.25/t.

Here are the closing prices for French (Matif) wheat for December this week:

  • Monday 17 July - €238.25/t.
  • Tuesday 18 July - €240.75/t.
  • Wednesday 19 July - €258.00/t.
  • Thursday 20 July - €259.50/t.
  • The December Matif wheat price increased by €21.25/t over the week.

    The London wheat price for November moved from £196/t on Monday evening to £211.20/t on Thursday evening and Chicago Board of Trade wheat for September moved from 653.75cent per bushel (c/bu) on Monday to 727c/bu on Thursday evening 20 July.

    Looking at oilseed rape and here are the prices for French (Matif) oilseed rape for August for this week:

  • Monday 17 July - €469.50/t.
  • Tuesday 18 July - €477.25/t.
  • Wednesday 19 July - €503.25/t.
  • Thursday 20 July - €497.75/t.