Low-quality feed being dumped on market

CNS Canada — Prices for feed barley and wheat don’t appear ready to spike anytime soon, as farmers across Western Canada continue to dump supplies containing high concentrations of vomitoxin and fusarium into feedlots.

“Steady as it goes here is the tone,” said Allan Pirness of Market Place Commodities in Lethbridge. “We’re looking to clean up the worst stuff here by springtime.”

Barley is going for $160 or slightly higher per tonne right now, he said, while feed wheat is a little weaker.

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“So $150-$155 (per tonne for feed wheat) is the spread we’re seeing,” he said. “The feedlot price that the farmer should see is low $150s.”

The export value of the low-quality feed is unknown, he said, but there should be enough of it to keep the domestic market well supplied for a while.

“So far it hasn’t affected pricing drastically. I suspect that’s largely because for every load that doesn’t show up, there’s two more looking for a home.”

Barley faces the same hurdles as wheat when it comes to vomitoxin and fusarium, but draws less attention, he said.

“It’s just a smaller market; there’s fewer acres of barley than wheat so we don’t notice it as much.

“It’s just a steady grind; feedlot bids are not really going up, even with the colder weather.”

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.


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