Food companies and millers are knocking on grain buyers’ doors looking for oats that have been grown without an application of glyphosate.
Demand for “glyphosate free” oats has ramped up over the last few months, says Kenric Exner, merchandising manager with Viterra.
“We’re starting to see more end-users in the U.S. ask if it’s possible. Some in Canada, domestically, already have these parameters in place today,” he says in the interview below. “The oat trade is very small, so it doesn’t take very many to become the norm.”
It’s difficult to nail down what percentage of Western Canadian oats have glyphosate applied to help with pre-harvest drydown, but Exner says industry estimates range from 50 to 70 percent of acres.
Viterra has not (yet) issued any contract program specifically for oats grown without glyphosate, as he says they’re trying to figure out how to best accommodate growers and end-users.
“We’re trying to understand what our end-use customers are demanding and what our producers can supply. We have a vested interest with both parties,” notes Exner. “At this point it’s more of an educational piece for us, understanding what the trend is, how we get there and what we can do.”
Viterra’s Kenric Exner discussed the oat market at the Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission’s annual meeting during CropSphere in Saskatoon last week: