Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Feed weekly outlook: Barley bouncing back, reducing need for corn

A barley crop south of Ethelton, Sask. on July 30, 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — This year has been proving good for barley, according to trader Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities in Lethbridge.

“A lot of acres went in and that takes the edge off of supply,” Pirness said of the barley crop throughout southern Alberta.

There had been a switch to corn in feed rations last year as there wasn’t enough barley, especially in Alberta, he said.

Statistics Canada on Friday issued its report for grain stocks as of July 31, which indicated ending stocks for barley dropped to a record low of 893,000 tonnes.

That will soon change with the new barley crop — and very little new-crop corn has been traded, Pirness said.

Currently barley was going for $220 per tonne, he said, with wheat a little more at $230.

However, Pirness said there has been little wheat come into the market at this point, due in part to the delayed harvest. Also, he is concerned that farmers could “bin it” until wheat rallies during the winter.

Although there are hay shortages in some areas of the Prairies, such as in Manitoba, Pirness noted the price of hay in Alberta backed off during the summer, with the latter province having better growing conditions this year.

Still, given the hay shortage, the demand for feed grains will increase and will be cheaper than buying forage.

— Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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