Oats values hold steady at harvest

(Greg Berg photo)

MarketsFarm — The oats market in Western Canada is holding relatively steady despite seasonal harvest pressure, although yields failed to live up to earlier expectations.

“Steady at harvest time is good,” said Scott Shiels, grain procurement merchant with Grain Millers in Yorkton.

Prices often dip at harvest time due to increased deliveries, he noted, but solid demand has kept the market where it was prior to the harvest this year.

Oats bids are generally topping out at around $3 per bushel in Saskatchewan, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. Prices are slightly higher in both Manitoba and Alberta.

“The quality of the crop that’s come in so far has been good,” Shiels said, though he added that yields didn’t quite live up to earlier expectations.

“I think the crop looked better than it’s actually running,” he said, adding that “the late July, early August heat just took some bushels… the plant is still there, but the heads didn’t fill.”

While anecdotal harvest reports are usually wide-ranging, Shiels said most of the talk this year was of yields coming in below expectations. “It’s not a bin buster by any means.”

Statistics Canada estimates total oats production in the country for 2020-21 at 4.5 million tonnes, which would be up from the 4.2 million grown in 2019-20.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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