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Orion Farming Monthly Newsletter June 2024

Updated: May 24

Click on any of the adverts in this newsletter to get more information




Cefetra Market Report: Late May 2024

On the whole, crops are looking better here in the UK, with spring drilled areas having had a good start after a mixture of sunshine and rain in recent weeks.  There is however disease pressure coming into the winter crops in certain areas.  Blackgrass pressure is also rife in places, no thanks to the exceptionally wet autumn/winter.

In terms of fund activity, the speculators remain short of CBoT (Chicago) Wheat and Corn but have turned around their short positions in MATIF (Paris) wheat and corn and have gone long on the back of weather issues in Northern Europe and Russia.  Funds are starting to buy back their short position in CBoT now though, encouraged by the recent move higher across several trading areas. The main driver in recent weeks has been unseasonable weather in Russia, with the north facing winterkill from late frosts and the south seeing prolonged dryness, both leading to reduced yield ideas.

There are still disputes between the USDA and local analysts in Brazil and Argentina with regards to the South American corn crop.  The two main analysts (CONAB and The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange) are estimating there will be circa 15Mmt less than the USDA’s current prediction. The variance is certainly something to keep an eye on, as 15Mmt of Corn is a significant amount.  It’s worth noting that it would be beneficial to South American corn prices if the global trade thinks production is going to be lower, so perhaps their low-balling the production numbers needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.  After all, the USDA should have the most accurate estimates given the amount of money for research and technology they have.

Western Europe continues to see wetter-than-normal weather, which is affecting French drilling progress yet again.  French farmers were hoping to increase corn drilling, given the lower winter wheat and spring barley crops in the ground after continual rainfall since the Autumn.  Continued wet weather has now seen revisions to the corn crop, which may also be adding some support to the market at present.  Eastern Europe (Ukraine and the Balkans) is looking dry and warm, which is not a cause for panic at present, so long as they do get some rains in the next couple of weeks.

Corn remains around £20 cheaper than wheat for use in feed rations in the North of the UK at present, with cargoes having already been booked for new crop.  This inevitably puts a ceiling on how much further wheat and barley values can climb unless Corn also does the same.  As mentioned before, the market has done its job already, pricing the UK to be importing for the season ahead. Therefore, the condition of the UK crop is already factored in.  This does however mean that we will need to track European markets in order to be expensive enough to allow imports.

New crop wheat values are around £215-£220 pre-Christmas at time of writing (22nd May), with barley at a historically high £25/t discount.  OSR is into the £400’s from Sept onwards, but not quite there on old crop (The above prices are location dependant, as always).  All of which are good levels to make a start at given the 6 months we have just had!  There are certainly further weather concerns which could arise between now and harvest, but several are already factored in.

With such a volatile marketplace in recent years, it is always good to place your hedge trades after a big move up.  Milling premiums are sat around the £60+ level for Group 1’s currently, and about £10 less for Group 2’s.

To find out more, please contact the team at Cefetra Grain: Simon Wilcox, Manager – UK Farm Grain Origination, 07774 822507,; Josef Grinczer, Farm Grain Buyer, 07712 325197, ; Ian Jervis, Farm Grain Buyer, 07497 185361,





Orion Suppliers Latest Promotions posted in May

Aiva Fertiliser have placed promotional material on the Orion App for Members, relating to two foliar fertiliser products.

The Septic Tank Store Ltd. has placed a promotion on the Orion App for Members - 'Exceptional discount available on the Graf 2700L Septic Tank - offer valid to end June 2024

Webbs are offering an additional 20% discount to Orion Members.

Farm XS are offering 10% discount to New Members joining their Farm Plastic Recycling Scheme.

Screwfix continue their 5% discount offer to all Orion Members, and please remember to take your Screwfix card in store to obtain the discount.

If you haven't yet got the Orion App and want to find the latest supplier promotions together with a lot of other features, please click on the button and fill out the contact details at the bottom of this page or contact Adam Donaldson on 07907 581094 or

Suppliers, if you would like to ensure all your details are up to date, and add in any promotional material for Orion Members, then please get in touch with Adam or fill in the contact details at the bottom of this page.




One of the Group suppliers is now in a position to offer an alternative to Megalac. The product is called Superlac and works in the same way as Megalac although it does have a slightly higher energy level. An added benefit of taking this product is that it’s currently £55/T cheaper than Megalac. Please contact the office if you would like more information or place an order.

Trafford Gold

For members who may be considering supplementing their winter feed ration, Trafford Gold may offer a relatively cheaper alternative to rapemeal or soya. It is a highly palatable and aromatic moist feed with good levels of protein (20%), energy and digestible fibre, it’s easily stored and can be incorporated into most youngstock, dairy and beef feeding systems. Prices tend to vary on a monthly basis, but an indicative price for May for clamp loads (approx. 500T) was somewhere in the region of the mid-£130/T, depending on location. Please contact the office should you require a firm price.


For members who use a palm oil-based calcium soap as part of their ration and are looking for ways to reduce their feed carbon footprint, Envirolac is an option worth considering. Manufactured from locally sourced vegetable oils, together with marine oils, it can reduce the feed carbon footprint by more than 10%, while returning impressive milk yield increases, namely 0.6kg increase in milk yield as well as a lift in butterfat production from 3.85% to 4.01%, following a successful trial undertaken at the University of Nottingham. A detailed report as well as prices are available from the office.

Tote Bags

Several feed supplement and fat products are available in tote bags for a small additional discount. If you have the facilities to be able to store tote bags and would like to take advantage of the discount, please specify this when placing your order.


And Finally…

Totally irrelevant but quite interesting facts of the month… Verbs in the Archi language of southern Russia can take 1,502,839 possible forms and until 1922 you could listen to the news by telephone.

For more details on any matter raised in the Feed & Livestock section, please contact Joe in the office: Joe Cobb, Feed & Livestock Manager,  01865 393 139


Vale Training Services

Course Availability for February and March 2024. Click HERE to book through our website or contact us at Vale Training Services Ltd., Marsh Hill Farm, Marsh, Aylesbury, HP17 8ST.

Tel: 01296 612201. Email:


Oxfordshire Herds Competition

The Committee of the Oxfordshire Herds Competition invites you to the Annual Farm Walk and Presentation to be held this year at Portway Farms, Twyford, Buckingham, MK18 4EA, by kind permission of the Woods Family, on Tuesday 25th June 2024. The evening will commence with an introduction at 7.00pm followed by the Farm Walk, a Barbecue and then the Presentation of Awards.


What3words - Pins.witless.divisions. Tickets priced @ £15.00 can be obtained from Roger Gardiner using the following email address: RSVP by Friday 21st June 2024.


Roger Gardiner, Oxfordshire Herds Competition Chairman.



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