To grow milling wheats as feed wheats?

Discussion in 'Cropping' started by Feldspar, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. To those growing high yielding group 1 & 2 wheats, is anyone planning on growing them as feed wheats?

    My concern at the moment is with the increasing acreage of group 1 and 2 varieties with the likes of Skyfall and Siskin that the cost of growing them as milling wheats is not going to be covered by what are likely to be falling premiums.

    What defaultable forward premiums are on offer at the moment? What chances are there of achieving milling spec if the crop is treated as a feed wheat?
     
  2. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Location:
    Fen Edge
    Try it. I bet you will get a premium of around £5 in an 'ordinary' year. If the varieties stack up from a yield and disease point of view (and do well on your farm) why wouldn't you if you thought premiums were insufficient for late N, good ear wash?
     
  3. static

    static Member

    Location:
    Lincoln-ish.
    Gp4 hard with a bit of a spec would attract a premium most years.
     
  4. Have Siskin, Cordiale and Skyfall in the ground. Will definitely treat Cordiale as a milling wheat because there's quite a bit of local demand for it and hits proteins relatively easily. I need to check again, but I think Skyfall can struggle to achieve protein levels. Some people were putting on 280 kg/ha and still failing to hit full spec even last year. Also, for Siskin especially, the disease profile is pretty good and so you could cut the spend quite a bit if you weren't quite so worried about fusarium and mycotoxins.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  5. fudge

    fudge Member

    Just back your own judgement. We're growing crusoe again. I'll give it full whack whereas Siskin will be fertilised as feed. Why worry about fusarium? That's just down to the weather really.......
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  6. Lincsman

    Lincsman Member

    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    Its only weather that will make a milling Feed, possibly the timing of N.
     
  7. Condi

    Condi Member

    Lots of people growing them as feed wheat and hoping to hit an 11.3% spec with no or minimal extra cost.
     
  8. warksfarmer

    warksfarmer Member

    Location:
    Warwickshire
    There isn't any difference in growing them! Milling wheats don't need any more chemicals than feeds. Nor do they need any more Nitrogen. If your growing feed you want yield so wack the n on. If your wanting protein you do it late as a protein spray.

    Seed rates are the same. Establishment is the same. Harvest might be a bit earlier but that's about it.
     
    richard hammond likes this.
  9. What total N rate do you use? NIAB say 200-220 for feed then add 30-50 kg/ha for milling wheats.
     
  10. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    We grow milling wheats for one CFA customer to feed - after all he wants to feed protein

    always wondered why there isn't protein bonus (or deduction) on feed wheats ? surely the protein level of feed wheat matters ???
     
    The Ruminant, Matta and doogie7530 like this.
  11. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    220-240kg N gets spec here usually but we don't grow many 10t plus crops - if we did I reckon you would need another 20kgs (ish) for every extra t/ha
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  12. static

    static Member

    Location:
    Lincoln-ish.
    30kg N per ton of 13% protein is a good guide but its timing rather than total. Perhaps they didnt hit 13% but still got 12t/ha of feed? Its always going to be that balance, but for me milling is where you go when you cant get the base yield to go higher - so long as that extra N cost can be recouped as yield or protein you are still going to make money with all but the scruffiest of wheats now.

    Skyfall wont build protein anything like Crusoe or Cordiale. Of the three, Crusoe is the best if you have the patience / capacity to wait until it is properly dead to get it to thresh. £5 or so premiums for gp4 hards / low spec gp 1s and 2s have effectively killed soft gp3 wheats from around here. Cordiale is now niche as it is such a poor, spindly little plant.
     
  13. warksfarmer

    warksfarmer Member

    Location:
    Warwickshire
    It depends on variety. We have struggled with Edgar being honest and 220kg + 40kg protein spray this year has achieved about 12.8% protein average but we did harvest 3.98t/acre.

    Solstice was similar and I think might be related to Edgar.

    Crusoe easier to get protein and we have done with 180kg N and 40kg protein but 3.5t/acre yield in the past. But again harvest 4t of crusoe and your talking about 12.5% protein.

    Skyfall for us last two years did 12% protein at 3.5t/acre but harvest 16 did 13.8% pro and 3.8t/acre yield. Dropped it though.

    Choose the variety carefully and look locally. What's your local milling wheat growers using?
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  14. Quite a lot of crusoe being grown locally. My father loves Cordiale, although from the trials it now looks a relatively low yielding and quite dirty variety. That said, there is quite a good local market around here, and it did give us our best yielding field last year.
     
  15. They didn't get 12 t/ha. Timing might have been off though.

    So would you say it's better to grow Skyfall as a feed wheat? That's what we did last year, because they were very late drilled and a little bit ropey.
     
  16. static

    static Member

    Location:
    Lincoln-ish.
    The trials all say that Skyfall will do the business in terms of yield vs most other varieties. It threshes nicely; is early; seems reasonably robust; covers the ground and tillers; seems fairly fine going in the ground later. So if it were entered as a feed wheat, it would still be right up there. It's very flexible, but I wouldnt be betting the wife's jewellery on making 13%. That being said, ours did 13.7% last year albeit slightly down on yield than where I wanted it, mainly due to a 3-way N split with no foliar. If I get 9.5t/ha of full spec wheat, or 11t/ha of feed, then I'm going to be reasonably pleased with each. With the current poor premiums for free-buy gp1s, and being close to a *very* active feed wheat buyer makes the milling harder to justify when we often are going to be several pounds per ton up on you for feed wheat.

    I dont think we do ourselves any harm by switching into "quality" wheat varieties wholesale, and then managing them based on personal knowledge of our land and markets. If I was dead set on a gp1 and needed that premium I would be growing crusoe and having a good drier. We have close to 500ac out of 1200ac of winter wheat to cut this summer in Skyfall so inevitably some is going to end up spolit by the weather. Although Skyfall cut end of 1st week of September last year retained its hagberg and was a doddle to get cut vs that cut on about the 16th August.
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  17. RBM

    RBM Member

    The glut of Skyfall doesn't help, but it was always going to be the case when a good gp1 with decent yield gained popularity. I won't grow milling wheats unless they are on a minimum premium contract and that has been gradually tailing away the past couple of years. £20 is a minimum and if it starts creeping down towards £15 it's just not worth it, especially if you get a rejection for ergot at that level it's even less appealing.
     
    fudge likes this.
  18. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    All my forward sales for new crop are on the basis of "feed plus premiums as applicable."

    I have Siskin in the ground without a specific contract. It will fill the shed & hopefully attract a premium - whether or not I use Nufol in June to boost protein will depend on how the crop looks & what the market is like. It will be stored separately anyway. Last year's Lili got an £8 premium (min 8 max 20 contract), was the highest yielding wheat here - the Nufol & some extra earwash broke even. In a better year I'd hope that the premiums were higher to justify it.
     
    E_B and fudge like this.
  19. fudge

    fudge Member

    We can (probably) all agree on that. But over the last couple of months feed wheat has been a stronger market than some people including myself anticipated. There is no certainty this will continue. At least some milling acreage helps marketability.
     
    Brisel likes this.
  20. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    You can thank the seed breeders for that. Now the big millers like Alled, Premier Foods, RHM & ADM can take their pick of whatever is on the market & pay the minimum needed to keep us growing these premium varieties. All that keeps these mills keen are the exporters & bioethanol plants that mean they are competing for wheat in the North East. That's supply & demand for you.

    I always thought that the best ethanol yield came from higher starch, not high protein? The two normally have an inverse relationship but I suppose it's all down to cost per unit of ethanol.
     

Share This Page