Ample supply of organic feed grains putting pressure on prices

Whole Peeled, Unpeeled and Rolled Oats

By Glen Hallick
Glacier FarmMedia staff 

With large quantities of organic feed grains in the commercial pipeline, prices have become soft, according to several participants.

“There’s a fair bit of feed quality grain out there keeping that margin down,” said Scott Shiels of Grain Millers Canada Corp, adding this has been despite a very trying 2018 harvest.

Other than feed prices, there is very little on the horizon that should be of concern to the organic crop industry in Canada, according to Sheils.

There’s quite a bit of supply out there. Prices have definitely been coming off. – Eric Fast

“I don’t think there’s anything glaring at us. This time of year is generally fairly quiet. Guys are getting seeding plans ready,” he said.

It’s expected there will be a good amount of organic oats seeded in 2019, likely up from last year’s acres, Shiels noted.

Prices were holding steady with the previous month, with oats at C$6 to C$6.50 per bushel. Brown flax is in the low to mid C$30’s per bushel while yellow flax is in the high C$30’s per bushel.

Eric Fast of Nature’s Organic Grist concurred about the supply.

“There’s quite a bit of supply out there. Prices have definitely been coming off,” he said of wheat.

Fast said Nature’s Organic Grist is presently accepting grain it already has been contracted for.

One thing farmers need to be doing, he added, is frequently checking the quality of their grain in the bin.

Jason Breault of RW Organics also agreed oversupply has become an issue.

“The mills are pretty well filled up,” he said, adding there will be a carry over.

Hard red spring wheat was about C$14, which is double the price for conventional wheat, Breault said.

To Tristan Gill of Westaqua Commodity Group there is an ongoing issue that won’t disappear any time soon.

“I think the biggest challenge for what I call the Canadian producer pool, is the continued prolific imports of organic grains from other countries,” he stated.

Cheap products, such as corn and soymeal, from China, India and Eastern Europe are hurting the Canadian market, according to Gill.

“That’s been going on for years. It’s nothing new. It continues to be more and more prolific as the (organic) industry grows and matures,” he added.

Also, Gill is concerned about imports from China possibly spreading African Swine Flu, which can be deadly to hogs. He said the disease could wreak havoc in the hog industry should it spread to Canada.