Ample Feed Grain Supplies Expected this Winter

by 5m Editor
7 August 2009, at 9:38am

CANADA - This year's unusual prairie weather combined with a reduced demand from the North American livestock feeding sector is expected to result in ample supplies of reasonably priced feed grains this winter, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Moisture conditions across the prairies this year have varied dramatically ranging from severe drought in parts of central Alberta and west central Saskatchewan all the way to excess moisture in parts of Manitoba.

Canadian Wheat Board weather and market analysis director, Bruce Burnett, says the biggest factor has been our cool temperatures.

Bruce Burnett - Canadian Wheat Board

We've really seen a slow developing crop this year.

Of course that's had it's benefits.

Even though we've received below normal precipitation in a good portion of the prairies, mostly in Saskatchewan and Alberta, we have not seen a lot of crop stress so that's helping maintain yield potentials.

Unfortunately it's also increasing the risk of frost in the fall.

In terms of the total grains available, it looks like by our projections right now that our total crop is going to be down by a little bit over 20 percent this year but I think, from a feeding perspective, we don't see a limitation in terms of the feed grains this year.

Mostly because of the fact that, because of the lateness of the crop, we do have to anticipate that some of this crop is not going to make it into the bin before the first frost so we will see an increase I think in feed wheat supplies this year over the past couple of years.

Mr Burnett notes the cool temperatures have delayed development of the US corn crop, which is a concern. but which have help maintain yield potential resulting in exceptions for an average to slightly above average crop.

He says if we see normal yields in the US corn belt, especially with the recent North American livestock liquidations, we can expect plentiful supplies of corn which will also hold down prices in Canada.