CNS Canada — After a slight delay to the start of seeding in southern Alberta, producers are out in the fields and it doesn’t yet look like they have seeded more shorter-season acres, such as in feed barley.
“Southern Alberta is a little bit later than normal (for starting seeding). But most areas, they’re kind of rolling on time. I haven’t really heard of any extra barley going (in),” said Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities at Lethbridge.
As the long, cold winter dragged on, there had been some reports that producers were thinking of switching acres to plant shorter-season crops.
Statistics Canada released its principal field crop areas report on April 27. The report predicted an increase in barley acres to 6.1 million acres from 5.8 million last year. Spring wheat acres are also predicted to see a boost to 18.2 million from 15.8 million last year. The survey was completed in March.
“The moisture conditions changed a lot in that month. So I think there’s probably going to be some switches from that report,” Pirness said, adding that depending on seeding delays, there could be a larger increase for barley acres than Statistics Canada has predicted.
An increase in barley and wheat acres could produce a larger supply of feed grains next year and bring down prices. Over the winter, feed grain prices have been steady, due to a tight supply.
For the week ended Thursday, feed grain prices have held steady for Feedlot Alley in Lethbridge. According to Pirness, feed barley is at $257 per tonne, feed wheat at $255 per tonne and corn at $260 per tonne.
“Demand has (been) staying about the same, nothing really changing yet. And with the rail strike averted for now, the corn is (being shipped) so there’s no real extra pressure on the market,” Pirness said.
In April, localized flooding did cause some problems for shipping feed grains, but the flooding has started to subside. Spring road bans are still causing some shipping issues.
— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.