Feed weekly outlook: Overwintered barley beats expectations

MarketsFarm — Last fall’s remaining barley crops coming off the field this spring were at risk of causing a supply glut in feed grain markets.

Luckily, however, those overwintered barley crops are in better-than-expected condition, and not all of them are going into the feed market.

“We thought there would be a lot more coming into the feed market,” said Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities in Lethbridge, explaining that some of last year’s barley crop is still making a No. 2 or No. 3 grade.

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Corn prices have gotten to the point that they are “competing quite easily with barley and wheat” in southern Alberta, he noted.

“That’s put a bit of a substitution cap on barley and wheat prices.”

However, some cattle producers aren’t keen on changing rations in the middle of a feeding cycle.

“So even though corn is cheaper than barley and wheat, there’s some resistance to feeding corn,” Pirness said.

Feed barley and wheat prices are around $225 per tonne delivered in the Lethbridge area.

Pirness also mentioned market participants will be watching the old-crop/new-crop spread in weeks to come.

“So far, new-crop pricing is quite a bit lower, and we’re expecting old-crop prices to deteriorate further as we get closer to new crop,” he said.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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