Whether you are buying or selling on the feed market side, there’s no doubt that you’ve noticed prices skyrocketing. Between a lack of U.S. corn, and corn availability coming into Canada, the price has been driven upwards.
Brian Voth of IntelliFarm Inc. says the lack of supply has followed economics 101, and has driven up the price, which is why we are seeing a lot of wheat and barley go into the feed market that would’ve normally gone into the export market. Given the high feed values, these crops are just moving into other channels.
“Corn is going to be the biggest substituting factor coming into feedlots, and with the availability of barley, it’s a little bit surprising that we’ve seen feed barley move as high as we have. The other thing is that now you are seeing new crop feed barley, you are actually starting to see some new crop bids moving up now too,” Voth explains.
As we very quickly approach planting season, these high prices have many wondering where acres are going to be at this year. Voth too, has interest in what could happen.
“We’ve seen an increase in barley acres and production over the last couple of years,” Voth says. “But when you look at how the malt market has been so flat, for so many years, this is one of those years where we are seeing a lot of farmers actually saying ‘I’m growing barley, but I’m not even attempting to go for malt. I’m going for feed, and I’m going for the bushels, because there isn’t enough of a price spread to warrant the risk of going for malt.’ While I don’t disagree with that theory, I think we’ll have to be careful because if we do see an extra few hundred thousand acres of barley going in the ground, we have the potential to get back to a little more burdensome carryout levels if there is an average crop.”