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Published August 25, 2014, 09:57 AM

Spring crops harvest underway

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Spring crops, specifically oats and barley, are starting to be taken off in southern areas. Quality and yields appear about normal. Oats have decent weights. Rain has been scarce since June and it’s been hot. A crop that looked to be above-average might now be about average.

By: John Duvenaud, Agweek

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Spring crops, specifically oats and barley, are starting to be taken off in southern areas. Quality and yields appear about normal. Oats have decent weights. Rain has been scarce since June and it’s been hot. A crop that looked to be above-average might now be about average.

Tougher year for oats

The first oats from the southern prairies are coming off OK. Weights are adequate to good — most is coming in between 240 and 260 grams per half liter and yields are running between 100 and 130 bushels per acre. Quality seems fine.

The oats oversupply we experienced last winter is still with us. Canadian National Railway has already notified shippers that oats will be odd-man out when it comes to allocation of cars. Grain Millers in Yorkton is full through February and unlikely to start bidding before winter. Emerson Mills is buying for January and February. If you have to sell oats in northeast Saskatchewan, you might be looking at $2.10 per bushel.

Canola prices grind lower

Canola prices have been grinding lower on a record soybean production of 3.8 billion bushels. Palm oil prices dipped to five-year lows two weeks ago. Canadian canola harvest is right around the corner, and with weaker wheat and barley prices, farmer selling of canola will be heavy.

Durum market remains firm

Elevator durum prices continue to percolate higher because of stronger export demand. Canadian durum exports for 2013 to ’14 finished at 4.8 million metric tons, up from 4.2 million last year. Our projected Canadian durum carryout is sharply lower than earlier projections at 1.6 million metric tons. For 2014 to ’15, we are projecting a Canadian durum crop at 5.3 million metric tons, down from 6.5 million in 2013. While production will be down from last year, exports will remain strong and the carryout has potential to drop to historical lows of 1 million metric tons. The market will have to attract farmer selling to satisfy this export demand.

Barley prices softening

Lethbridge, Alberta, barley prices are softening as harvest draws closer. Recently, we recommended producers sell 20 percent of the 2014 crop in anticipation of weaker prices during September and October. The U.S. Department of Agriculture report was bearish for North American feed grain prices and we expect to see U.S. corn trade into Southern Alberta later in October. Export prices remain under pressure from strong competition from France and the Black Sea region. Adverse rains in France and Germany have resulted in softer feed grain prices and French barley is now most competitive on the world market.

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