It is the end of the first week of April and here in MB it does not look like spring. Eastern MB received 10 to 12 inches of snow yesterday and it will be -18 C tonight. More like early March, but as they say you can talk about the weather all you want but no one can change it. It will likely be a late spring again. From conversations with producers, it seems that everyone is in agreement that seeding will fall 10 days to 2 weeks behind. If this is the case it won’t be as late as last year but it could have an impact on what goes in the ground.
Before I started to write this months’ rant, I discussed what we should cover with Reed. We both thought that oats might be worth a line or two. So here goes it. There are going to be oats carried out for sure. How much will depend on how many growers will sell into the feed market. I say this because the exporters and mills we work with are all talking about being covered till the new year. So what else is available? The odd small sale and the feed market (we are currently looking for 20,000 bushels of good oats at $4.00 delivered MB for June). Good feed oats are basically $3.00 in MB and Eastern SK as they move west it gets a bit better but not much.
Just about all of our brokers have talked to growers that have stated that they will store them until new crop before they will take $3.50 for milling oats. That is their right as they own the oats. One big thing to keep in mind – the mills will not use old crop oats if they can buy new crop. Year old oats lose their shine; they get a bit of a musty odour no matter how good a job you do make of storing them. And the mills know that it is hard to groat oats and make them smell and have the same appearance of new crop. Just some food for thought. I promise no more about oats for a few months.
We are still seeing good interest in barley with MB bids of $7.70/bus for May on farm and bids rising as we go west with buyers looking for barley delivered Lethbridge AB for MJJ delivery at $8.90. This doesn’t cover the freight spread with trucks wanting $75 plus/MT to run from MB to AB. Rail moved corn is still holding prices down in AB.
Anyone who has some heated or green canola sitting in a back bin, this might be the time to move it. The spreads for heated vs 1 CAN are very tight as the supply of damaged canola is very low and there is good demand.
We have been helping producers with price discovery for new crop. I would say we have more new crop barley, lentils and peas on the books than we have had in many years. This looks like it is a good plan as bids keep drifting lower. We do have interest in new crop Malt in MB and Eastern SK. Indications on price are $8.00 picked up in good freight locations. Feed barley in the same areas is $6.25 (+/- depending on location).
Another topic I would like to mention. Moisture in stored malt barley. Many producers harvest their barley at higher moistures to help maintain quality by earlier harvest, less staining and reduced risk of chitting. These are excellent farm management decisions. I would like to mention the down side risk attached to this. On a year like last year and a later harvest aeration wasn’t as effective and this causes problems.
We have just helped move some barley from a producer that was at 14 moisture when he had to turn off the fans in November. He has dried it down as it is being shipped in March but the last few loads delivered have arrived at 93 -95% germ down from the 99% at harvest. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Barley that is stored over 13.5 moisture will often lose germ over the winter. It is a slow process but can have a big impact on your bottom line. We have also had some malt barley delivered at 14.5 to 15.5. This becomes a double issue with risk of lower germ and possible rejection at the end user. Basically what I am saying is make sure you know that your barley has dried down to 13.5 with air or make other arrangements. It is your responsibility to deliver what the contract calls for. Not the buyer’s problem to fix.
Last month we started with a bit of an update on our brokers by province. I have to make an apology to our newest broker in MB. Johan Brand – he works out of the Oak River area and has been with Quality Grain for 3 years. He is very good at sourcing grain as he is very active on social media. Johan, I do apologize for not including you last month. That was my mistake.
Here are the SK brokers:
Richie Yaremko – Yorkton SK – Has been with Quality Grain since 2015, and farmed out of the Willowbrook area for 25 years. Worked as a customer service rep for Cargill (Yorkton) for 17 years, followed by 7 years as a farm market advisor and joined Quality Grain after retiring from advising. He brings a wide range of experience in both the farm side and the supplier/marketing side of the business.
Robert Rusu – Moose Jaw SK – Joined Quality Grain in 2019. Farmed in the Kayville area for 30 years followed by 11 years with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance as an adjuster. Robert owned and operated his own semi hauling company – hauling fertilizer, grain, and vegetables across Canada and the USA. He has strong connections with the producers in southern Saskatchewan and with his farming experience he brings a lot of expertise to the Quality Grain team.
Have a great Easter weekend and until next month get those drills warmed up and let’s hope for a smooth spring season.
Marketer - Brandon, MB
204-729-1354 - Office
204-761-8320 - Cell