Feed weekly outlook: New crop expected to stabilize feed prices

Drought will drag Prairies' yields much lower

A barley crop south of Ethelton, Sask. on July 30, 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — New crop is starting to make its way into feed grain bins as the annual harvest gets underway in Alberta.

However, due to the drought conditions which have enveloped Western Canada, yields will be much lower than normal.

“(The yields are) generally lower than expected and (there’s been) some disappointment,” said Allen Pirness, trader for Market Place Commodities at Lethbridge. “The spring-seeded crops have performed (the worst). Some of the winter wheat and fall rye fared better than the spring wheat and barley.”

The high-delivered bid for feed barley in Alberta was $9.25 per bushel, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data from Wednesday — $1.15 higher than last month.Feed wheat traded as high as $11.57/bu. in Alberta, a $1.25 increase from a month ago.

Despite price hikes and the lower-than-normal supply of new crop, Pirness does not expect prices to go up much more in the coming weeks.

“A lot of feedlots are bridging the gap now between their current feed (and new crop). They have corn booked until November. They’re just getting through the next two months of feeding in September and October and then there will be a large-scale switch to corn,” he said.

“New-crop corn, November forward, is trading at a $50 per tonne discount to the current bought barley price. It seems unlikely we’ll have any substantial rally in barley prices unless corn moves any higher.”

— Adam Peleshaty reports for MarketsFarm from Stonewall, Man.

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