Oat crop quality varies with moisture damage

CNS Canada — Oat quality is mixed across Western Canada, one buyer says, as moisture caused damage to not-yet-harvested grains.

“Any oats that are still out there that have had substantial amounts of rain are likely not going to make milling spec,” said Ryan McKnight of Linear Grain.

The portion of production usable for the milling market is yet to be determined, he added.

About 75 per cent of Saskatchewan’s oats have been combined, according to the province’s latest crop report, for the week ending Monday.

Oats that Linear Grain has bought from southeastern Saskatchewan are of good quality, McKnight said, but producers in northern Saskatchewan may have issues.

“Locally, here in Manitoba, we usually have troubles with test weight and stuff like that, but it’s OK,” he said.

The Canadian oat market is generally weak due to a bearish grain supply situation, but farmers won’t sell below certain prices, McKnight said. That means buyers who are short have to shell out anyway.

He pegged that price level at around $3 in Manitoba and $2.50-$2.75 in Saskatchewan.

“If somebody needs oats, you can’t really buy them cheaper in any sort of volume, so you have to pay that,” McKnight said.

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

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