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In recent years the UK’s wheat hectares have reduced to a level where the UK’s exportable surplus has dropped from over 2mmt to virtually self-sufficient. This is partly due to the endemic of black grass, increased demand from the two ethanol plants (Vivergo is now moth balled) and huge growth of the integrated poultry units. With Brexit less than six months away the wheat market is more protected from a hard Brexit. However, going forward with tighter world supplies the UK is more exposed to ‘World’ markets but vulnerable to cheap imports of maize and black sea wheat. UK growers need to respond to the local markets when choosing their varieties. The major compounders are based in the North and south west with Flour Millers in the midlands and North West. Central and south eastern growers are looking bereft of milling wheat homes (following the announced closure of Hovis Southampton). This void may see export markets return or quality wheat transported north and feed wheat go west.
We await also the post Brexit response from our ‘Green ‘ government which appears to be more predisposed to enviromental incentives than growing production. All the time the World population continues to grow and the UK’s arable farmers are among the most efficient in the world.

Milling Wheat and Integrated Poultry Units

Robin Appel Ltd is a major supplier of wheat to the UK Milling industry. With the availability of high yielding group 1 wheat varieties such as Skyfall and KWS Zyatt farmers are not so exposed to a ‘quality failure’.

The UK has always been a world class producer of the highest grade Group 3 soft biscuit wheats. After a gap of a number of years the seed houses have responded with high yielding disease resistant Group 3 varieties: KWS Barrel and Elicit. Group 3 export markets have always been a traditional market especially into Southern Europe. Demand by UK Millers for group 3 varieties have put premiums only a few pounds below Group 1 so look an increasing attractive alternative to Group 2 and group 4 wheat.

The popularity of Chicken meat is insatiable at the expense of Pork and red meat. Poultry is very versatile and increasingly supports the younger population with demand for convenience food. Wheat is the major ingredient in poultry rations for its digestibility and meat conversion. Robin Appel ltd have responded to this demand and have Supply Frame Agreements with two major poultry units.

Nick Matthews

Tel: 01489 897105