CNS Canada — The question isn’t whether there’ll be enough feed grains this year in Western Canada, but when they’ll be ready — which is keeping the market steady currently.
“The question is when will it be marketable? When will it be out of the field and in condition to market?” said Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities in Lethbridge.
Wet weather over the last few weeks has stalled harvest progress across parts of the Prairies, and with snow falling in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba during the first week of October, the quality of wheat and barley left sitting in fields continues to deteriorate.
As it deteriorates, more of the crops are ending up in the feed grain category.
The latest crop report from the Alberta government said that as of Sept. 25, only 35 per cent of the provincial spring wheat crop was harvested and 42.7 per cent of the barley crop in the bin. Harvest progress had basically stalled during the week across the province.
Cheap corn from the U.S. has also been making its way into Alberta feedlots lately, which is helping to keep a lid on prices. Feed barley, feed wheat and corn are all sitting around the $245 per tonne mark, according to Pirness.
The corn price “doesn’t allow for barley and wheat to get too much above corn, or else we’ll just see a bigger replacement,” he said.
The snow is causing some issues for grain deliveries, according to Pirness. Overall, however, it isn’t affecting the market much right now.
“There’s some near-term demand where stuff can’t show up and they’re buying what they can to make it through until stuff starts showing up more regularly. It’s not critical; there still seems to be enough grain getting to market,” Pirness said.
— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.