Man. oats in good shape, frost a concern

(Resource News International) — Growing conditions in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan have been generally favourable for the oats crop this year, according to a processing official.

However, they are behind in their development and could find themselves at risk if there is an early frost.

Real Tetrault of Emerson Milling said the oats he’d seen were looking great, although they were generally behind in their development due to the cool weather.

The oats will need at least until mid-September without a frost in order to make it to harvest, said Tetrault, whose company operates at Emerson, Man., on the U.S. border south of Winnipeg.

"If we get a frost, all bets are off," said Tetrault, noting that the full moon in the first week of September will be closely watched as a potential time for a frost.

From a pricing perspective, Tetrault said, the lower seeded oats acres this year should help support prices eventually. However, for the time being, the old-crop supplies are still large and need to be worked through.

Cash bids have come down below $2 per bushel in most areas across the Prairies as Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) futures have also moved lower. Tetrault said farmers were largely reluctant to price anything at current levels.

However, he added, some producers are "biting the bullet" and moving their old-crop oats. He expected more such selling as the harvest period approaches and producers need to make room in their bins.

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