More corn - and even oats - are finding their way into Prairie feedlots.
Susanne Leclerc of Market Master Ltd. in Edmonton said oats are becoming a more popular choice for feedlots, given relatively lower prices compared to the more traditional feedgrain alternatives, including feed wheat.
“There (are) a lot of feed oats. A lot of oats in general this year. To see (feedlots) using more oats into feed rations is kind of nice because it opens a lot more availability to be able to move oats,” she said.
Canadian oat production this year amounted to an estimated 4.65 million tonnes, up a whopping 65% from the drought-reduced 2021 harvest and the largest domestic oat crop since 1976 when 4.83 million tonnes came off.
Oat prices across Western Canada generally range from about $4 to $5/bu, verus feed barley at more than $9 in Alberta and feed wheat even above that.
Meanwhile, easy availability is making corn an attractive option for feedlots, Leclerc said.
“A lot of places are switching to corn. The desirability of feed barley has been coming down,” she said. “So, it will be interesting to see which way the trend goes this week as a lot of buyers are switching to corn because of availability.”
Leclerc said that while feed barley is available, corn is easier to source from elevators once it’s been delivered. Grain buyers are also having to deal with trucking shortages, she added.
As for feed wheat, prices continue to be strong as it is being used by feedlots in combination with barley and corn.
“We are seeing (feed wheat) stay relatively (steady) to higher,” Leclerc said. “There isn’t much feed wheat. Most feedlots have been using No. 1 wheat this year. There isn’t a lot that’s feed quality. . . they’re having to use high quality wheat instead of feed quality.