Well, 2023 is almost over. It has been an interesting year in grain markets. We have seen extremely dramatic price corrections from Jan 2, 2023 to today (Dec 6, 2023). Every commodity has moved lower. With some like barley leading the charge with a 35% reduction. These changes are making it harder for producers to plan for next year. I am sure it is very tempting to kick your rotation to the curb and just grow canola and wheat. It is your farm but I am not sure that is the best long-term plan. We can help you with new crop price discovery just the same as every year.
To complicate this even further take a look at the crazy weather we have had this fall. Here in Brandon, we had significant snow on Oct the 27 th. And tomorrow Dec the 6 th it will be plus 7 degrees. This shortens the winter but is not adding to moisture reserves or giving any winter crops protection from the cold that I am sure will be coming sooner than later. If anyone has the time or inclination it would be great if you could hit reply and let us know what your moisture conditions are like.
I would like to mention a disturbing trend that we are seeing this fall. Harvest conditions have contributed to a much larger amount of spoiled and heated grain than we normally see. I seem to get a call almost every day with someone having heated canola. Just to give you an idea of how large a problem this is here are some numbers. The crop year August 2022 to July 2023 we traded 1356 MT of heated canola. This year August to November we have already traded 1158 MT and we have another 300 MT in the works as the writing of this newsletter. This is just an example of how big a problem out of condition grain is going to be this year. We have been seeing crust on yellow peas, malt barley and wheat. If possible, remove the crust before you pull the first load. If that crust gets into the rest of the bin, you could have feed grain.
One trick that I heard that makes sense to help with this. If you want to be sure you have pulled enough grain out to check quality just crumple up 3 or 4 pieces of paper, throw them on the top of the bin toward the sides and when you pull all the paper out the bottom you know you have made a good job of turning your bin. It will be a year where it will be more effort to make sure your grain stays in the best possible condition. But worth it.
We still are seeing decent bids for yellow peas. $10.50 in Western MB and Eastern SK. Some better bids out in Alberta as well. Feed barley is $5.60 ish in MB but not much stronger into SK and AB. We have heard but do not have actual data to prove it but 75% of the cattle on feed in feedlot alley in AB are eating corn this year. As you might guess it is largely coming from the US. This issue will hang over the feed complex for the rest of this crop year unless something dramatically different comes along to change things. This is good for the feeders which in the long term will help stabilize the feeding industry in western Canada. You can only go on feeding $9 barley and stay in business for so long.
That is about it for this issue of the newsletter. If you have any questions or comments don’t be afraid to reply. We would love to hear your thoughts. Till 2024 have a good holiday season and stay safe. From the Quality Grain team
Till next month,
Marketer - Brandon, MB
204-729-1354 - Office
204-761-8320 - Cell