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.
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.