Grain

    10 x 10: 10 arable farming changes over the next 10 years

    The 10 marketing and agronomic developments we expect to see over the next 10 years.

    MARKETS AND MARKETING

    • More sophisticated analysis, by those marketing grain on behalf of farmers, based on mathematical calculation rather than intuition. There is plenty of information available and why should all the profit end up with the trading giants following procurement through commission and sophisticated analysis and intelligence?
    • Those marketing grain will be pressurised by farming organisations and levy bodies to publish the prices achieved for the farmers, where they are given a free hand to market such as through pools.  After all, it is a reasonable question to ask and caveats could be included.
    • Widespread use of options and futures contracts so that the worst sale is profitable and the potential profit is not contained.
    • Increased use of toll processing arrangements (where processors are paid for processing and do not purchase the crop in order to process) so that extra value can be supplied to the consumer without all the intermediaries having to invest in, and make a return on, the more expensive raw materials produced on the farm.
    • Web based farm purchasing groups offering lower transaction costs and more sophisticated pricing options;  through consolidation of delivery allowing distributors to work at full capacity for more of the time for example. Smartphone and in cab technology has finally taken the computer out of the office.

    AGRONOMY

    • In the black-grass areas of the country, the reintroduction of spring cropping and even rotational grass providing a more strategic system of control.
    • Introduction of legumes and legume cover crops in response to higher nitrogen fertiliser prices, loss of soil organic matter and EU legislation.
    • Adoption of technology to target pre-drilling contact herbicides at areas with green leaf rather than bare soil, as used elsewhere in the world.
    • Universal adoption of GPS technology for compliance reasons and reduction in cultivation, fertiliser and pesticide overlaps.  Trials data eventually published on GPS techniques showing that they really can make a return on investment in all the areas where they are used and don’t just produce pretty pictures.
    • Introduction of refuge areas and biological predator control to help management of resistance through promotion of cross breeding of targeted pests, diseases or weeds with susceptible strains.
     
     

    Key contacts

    Andrew Wraith

    Andrew Wraith

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Lincoln

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

     

    Steve Hollis

    Steve Hollis

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Salisbury

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

     

    Keith Preston

    Keith Preston

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Oxford

    +44 (0) 1865 269 170

    +44 (0) 1865 269 170

     

    Ashley Lilley

    Ashley Lilley

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Cheltenham

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

     

    Giles Hanglin

    Giles Hanglin

    Director
    Rural Research

    Savills Margaret Street

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786