James Mortimer


Newsletter – 11th May 2018

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It has been a few weeks since our last Newsletter, and the weather has finally allowed progress on the land after what has been a very difficult few months.

Grain prices have edged higher in recent weeks, and 2018 harvest offers an opportunity to lock into some respectable prices.

Some of you may have seen that Dee & Atkinson had an auction today.

One of the lots was an Edwardian Silver Salver, presented to James Mortimer by the East Yorkshire regiment in 1904. The Salver was a wedding present from “past and present members” of the 2nd Voluntary Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment.

James Mortimer (son of J.R. Mortimer, founder of our company), married Dora Woodcock, a Driffield girl, on June 7th 1904. He enlisted as a private in 1888, rising through the ranks to become a captain who lead a company of Driffield men in 1900 during the Boer War.

In 1915 he was promoted to Commander of the 5th Yorkshire Regiment as Lt. Colonel. He was killed on September 15th 1916 in France, and his brother in law Captain Frank Woodcock died on the same day .

The September battle of the Somme is remembered as the introduction of the tank being used in action. There were an estimated 1 million casualties, on both sides during the July-September battle.

I went along to the saleroom this morning to make a bid on what was a very interesting piece of history. Sadly and admittedly, not for the first time this week I was outbid.

The Salver made £700, well above the guide and our offer. At least we have gained some interesting knowledge about a very brave man. We have two photographs of James Mortimer in the office, one during the Boer War, the other as a player in the Driffield 1st  X1 cricket team.



The wheat market has gained ground over the past few weeks. The LIFFE Wheat Futures market closed tonight (11/5/18), as follows:

May 18 – £146.90
Jul   18 – £147.65
Nov 18 – £151.95
Jan  19 – £154.20
Mar  19 -£156.45
May 19 – £158.00
Nov 19  -£150.30

The wheat market remains firm for both 2017 and 2018 harvests.

Please keep in touch with the office for up to date information on feed, biscuit and milling wheat markets.



Feed barley prices have remained firm in recent months, at one stage trading at parity, or very close to feed wheat. We are able to offer small quantities of barley for anyone needing it for on farm use.

The market for new crop barley is firm, and anyone needing to move tonnage during harvest would be well advised to consider selling some tonnage at the levels currently on offer.



The 2017/18 malting market has practically finished. Buyers will be keeping a close eye on weather conditions in the months ahead.

After a very long winter, most spring barley crops are now emerging and time will tell how they will perform. You would expect yields to be lower than in recent years.

As with other commodities please keep in touch with the office for up to date market information.



The oat market is quiet at present, with buyers appearing to be fairly well covered for the remainder of this season.

We wait to see the planted acreage for spring 2018 for some guidance on the likely direction of prices in 2018/19.



Oilseed rape values are remaining under pressure and there are still considerable on farm stocks and realistically only a few weeks before the local crush undertakes the annual clean down for harvest 2018.

The price difference between 2017 and 2018 is under £5 per tonne, and it looks likely that some growers will opt to carry over tonnage into the next marketing season.

All the usual weather and currency issues will no doubt keep us guessing during the weeks and months ahead.



We continue to trade feed beans from harvest 2017.

Please keep in touch with the office for up to date information on both feed and human consumption bean markets.



We are beginning to see some interest in several of the new wheat varieties on offer in 2018.

Our spring sales have finally drawn to a close, and despite the difficult conditions in the field, our sales have risen by 50% compared to last year.

Lucy has been working on our autumn 2018 seed catalogue, we hope to circulate it within the next week or two. Please take time to study the choice of varieties and seed treatments etc.

As many of you will be aware, Autumn 2018 will be the last year that Deter and Redigo Deter will be available, which is another big loss to our industry.



We continue to take spot orders for various grades of fertiliser, including Lithan and UK Nitrogen.

Please give us the opportunity to quote for all your requirements.