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Ethanol Plants Accepting More Wheat

Western Canadian wheat producers have seen an increase in demand from ethanol plants, thanks to more feed wheat in the commercial system.

Jake Davidson, executive manager of Winter Cereals Canada in Minnedosa, said ethanol plants have been much more willing to take wheat this year.

“I’m seeing an increase in usage in Manitoba,” Davidson said. “Last year feed wheat prices were so high it didn’t really pay the ethanol people. The opportunity and the pricing are probably a little bit more to their liking.”

Davidson said the Husky ethanol plant in Minnedosa was taking more wheat this year than last as well, but their scales were still tilted toward corn.

“Last year the Minnedosa plant was very heavy towards corn. This year they’ve backed off some, but they are still primarily a corn-based system,” he said. “From what I’ve heard they are about 60 to 70 per cent corn right now.”

Davidson said there was also a lot of product moving west of the Manitoba border.

“In Saskatchewan, I’m seeing some wheat distiller people moving a lot more of the winter instead of AC Ander. There is a lot of winter wheat going,” Davidson said.

Winter wheat has had high fusarium levels, which Davidson said becomes concentrated in distillers grains.

Husky plants in Minnedosa and Lloydminster were paying producers $4.25 and $4.55 per bushel respectively for feed wheat deliveries.

Meanwhile, elevator deliveries for feed wheat were bringing as much as $4.78 per bushel in Manitoba, $4.33 in Saskatchewan, and $5.50 in Alberta, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

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