Wheat School: Hard Red Winter demand on the rise in Ontario


One of the big stories in the Canadian wheat industry this year has been re-emerging demand for Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat in Ontario.

Hard Red Winter used to occupy up to 18 percent of wheat acres in the province, but that number has dropped to an estimated 7 per cent in recent years and Ontario mills — including P&H and ADM — have taken notice. “They’ve decided there isn’t enough wheat and they are looking at new ways to increase Hard Red Winter acres,” says Rob McLaughlin, sales and marketing manager for Palmerston, Ontario-based C&M Seeds.

On this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, McLaughlin says a new marketing philosophy for HRW is now emerging, one that looks very similar to food-grade soybeans. Growers will no longer have to grow HRW and wait for pricing opportunities to come along. “It will be more of a planned, managed approach,” says McLaughlin who points out that the mills are now offering contracts for acres to be planted this fall for 2020 harvest delivery.

“Opportunities are available right now and it presents a good pricing opportunity,” says McLaughlin. He adds that these will not be standard floating price contracts but will carry fixed premiums based off the Soft Red Winter (SRW) price. He believes the pricing opportunity could net growers up to $36 per metric ton. (Story continues after the video.)

McLaughlin recommends interested growers contact their grain partner to see if they are offering HRW marketing opportunities. He adds that growers may have to call around because not all grain elevators have the ability to handle multiple types of crop.

In the interview, McLaughlin also discusses how HRW has changed in the past ten years. For growers returning to the crop, they’ll find a full slate of new, higher-yielding varieties that rival SRW varieties as well as better protein profiles.

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