Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Feed weekly outlook: Prairie grain prices higher than last year

feed grains
(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

CNS Canada — Nice weather over the holidays allowed for good movement of feed grains in Western Canada, with prices steady to above year-ago levels.

“I would say we cruised through Christmas and (the) New Year holidays fairly well. Not a lot of massive panic. We had nice weather which really helped, loads continued to move smoothly,” said Brandon Motz, sales manager at CorNine Commodities at Lacombe, Alta.

Feed barley delivered to Lethbridge is currently sitting around $258 per tonne, compared to $215-$220 per tonne a year ago. Corn, mainly from the U.S., is hanging out around $260-$262 per tonne, while feed wheat is at $255 per tonne, compared to $215 per tonne last year. Prices spiked in March and have hung out around the same levels since then.

According to Motz, the market is poking around currently and trying to find its spot as the first quarter of 2019 begins.

“Corn continues to be priced fairly strong, so (it will) be interesting to see if that continues to be a viable option for feeding or if barley does start to trickle in as a replacement to corn,” he said, adding that wheat has also been making its way into the feed ration lately.

In December, farmer selling slowed down, but Motz expects it to pick up again as farmers start to plan for seeding in April and clear bin space.

On the feedlot side, yards are still very full and Motz expects they will start to need feed coverage in February.

“In general January has some pretty good coverage, the odd adjustment as we just transition here. But overall I don’t get the feeling that the feedlot is not short grain at all,” he said.

— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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