Origin estimates UK winter wheat crop at 1.5m ha

21st November 2023 | Agricultural Inputs, Agronomy Services, Company News

Origin Enterprises, the Dublin-based parent company to Agrii and Origin Fertilisers, estimates that the wet autumn could reduce the UK 2024 winter wheat crop plantings by at least 300,000 hectares.

In a first quarter trading statement, the company projects that 1.4 million hectares of winter wheat have been drilled in the UK, and believes that a further 100,000ha could yet be planted. But this will be below the 1.8m hectares planted for harvest 2023. The company predicts that combined UK winter and spring crop plantings for the 2024 will be similar to the prior year at 4.4mha.

The company’s Ireland and the UK division has recorded a 4% decrease in underlying agronomy services and crop input volumes during the August – October 2023 period, with the later 2023 harvest and challenging weather delaying autumn planting in parts of the UK. “On-farm sentiment is reasonable, influenced by a recent firming of commodity output prices, despite the challenging in-field conditions,” it notes. “Generally, inventory levels on-farm remain low and are likely to require replenishment for the spring application period.”

The Business-to-Business Agri-Inputs operation wholesaling fertilisers and feed ingredients had a solid start, although revenues were down in line with the continued correction in global feed and fertiliser prices and volumes affected by the adverse weather.

While the weather also impacted volumes in the Amenity, Environmental and Ecology division, this was more than offset by increased revenues from the Group’s recent series of acquisitions in this sector.

The Group’s Continental Europe division saw an underlying 1.1% volume increase in agronomy services and crop inputs.

“Overall, the first quarter delivered a solid start, with growth in underlying volumes despite delayed plantings and a later harvest in the Northern Hemisphere,” says Group chief executive Sean Coyle.

“The continued strong performance of our Latin American business, combined with the growing contribution from our Amenity, Environmental and Ecology division, is helping to offset the impact of more challenging planting conditions in Europe.”