Organic harvest premium holds firm again
As the barns fill with grain SOPA Member Services have spoken with the key farming traders to seek out current commodity values. We can report September organic prices are strong for all major commodities.
Feed beans are the crop to have grown in 2016, with farm gate prices exceeding £300/t. This is a response to livestock farmers seeking home grown proteins in preference to imported organic soya. Organic growers also report that agronomically the variety selection is important. Chocolate spot resistance is a key factor as there are limited options for treatment in the organic rules. Suitable spring varieties are Ben and Fuego, but they still aren’t ideal for organic systems. A new entry on the variety list is a Winter Bean called Honey which can be harvested earlier than spring beans and still give a good entry for winter wheat.
Organic feed wheat is achieving in the region of £220/t, while organic oats and feed barley are slightly less but still tipping over the £200/t. With some organic spring barley yields reported at over 2t/acre the margin is good news. Only a few growers target the malting barley market and more are needed, with contract prices at £240/t. Only a handful of certified brewing and distilling companies in Scotland, the market is very niche but in demand.
The September market update sees a 35ppkg premium on prime organic beef with abattoirs actively procuring more supply. Looking to the Christmas procurement months just around the corner, the meat processors want to know where their organic beef is coming from.
On the lamb front the anticipated glut of seasonal lamb has not hit the organic sector as hard as in previous years. September farm gate prices are achieving a 20ppkg premium on non-organic lamb, and procurement co-operative Farm Stock (Scotland) Ltd report that more organic lambs are needed.
The SOPA website is the place to look for buying and selling organic produce, with a Classifieds page updated daily. Organic For Sales& Wanted are also published on SOPA’s new Facebook Page ScottishOrganic