Feed weekly outlook: Early harvest pressures Alberta prices

Barley. (Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

MarketsFarm — Feed prices in Alberta took something of a tumble this week, Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities in Lethbridge reported. Feed prices in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, meanwhile, were steady.

“Six weeks ago we were seeing harvest, at best, at the end of August. With the heat wave that’s been upon us the last couple of weeks, it’s really brought on the harvest a lot earlier,” the trader explained.

Weather reports for Alberta’s southern and central regions recorded temperatures pushing into the mid-30s C, even a bit higher, with little in the way of precipitation.

The sooner-than-expected harvest in Alberta has raised another issue in what to do with the abundance of wheat and barley, Pirness said.

“If you have too much coming too early, it has to release somewhere, and price is the valve,” he said.

“With the big crop we have coming, there’s no real reason to expect a sustained rally.”

Pirness suggested this is a good year for farmers to sell their grain forward for the winter.

Harvesting of winter cereals was well underway in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba and combining of spring cereals has barely started.

Over the last week, the price for feed barley in Alberta sank 22 cents per bushel, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire. Barley ranged from $3.75 to $4.83/bu. delivered.

Prices held at $3.75-$3.84/bu. in Saskatchewan, and slipped one cent in Manitoba to $3.75.

The decline for feed wheat in Alberta was significant as well, but not as severe as for barley. Prairie Ag Hotwire reported the wheat price dropped 14 cents/bu. to $4.89 -$6.31/bu. delivered.

Further east prices remained firm at $4.90-$5.75 in Saskatchewan, and $5.01-$5.35 in Manitoba.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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