Promoting Canadian Oats

Cropsphere will be hosted at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon, January 9-12, 2017. 

The 2016 Manitoba Oat Growers Association Annual General Meeting was held at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Winnipeg, MB on Thursday, Feb 11, 2016.

The Alberta Oat Growers Commission (AOGC) and the Manitoba Oat Growers Association (MOGA) have released their reports for the last year.

A conversation with Chris Newbergher, Grain buyer/trader, Stony Plain Seed Cleaning Association.

Alberta oat growers had the opportunity to chat with Chris, at their recent annual general meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.

Chris set the stage for the presentation by first discussing pricing and quality of Canadian Oats.

Oats are graded using the Canadian Grain Commission’s official grading guide. These grades are both subjective and objective based on annual harvest conditions. Of specific interest to traders in this market place is oat weight expressed as gms/half liter. Color and seed plumpness are also important.

End Users also specify expectations for the product which may or may not correspond to the official grades of oats.

Feed and pony oat markets are very different. Where as feed oats are almost any color, weight or moisture, pony oats must have good color, weight and specific moisture contents. The difference is certainly reflected in the price!. Feed oats prices currently range from $2.25 – 2.95/Bu; while pony oats prices are in the $3.25 – 3.50/bu range. Feed oats are primarily used as feed ingredient for calves and non-competitive horses, while pony oats service a very selective customer base, in the high end race and competitive horse markets.

Globally, the pony oats market is fairly extensive with markets in Japan, China, Malaysia, Korea, Philippines, and Singapore. The US market covers 48 states of which Alberta readily services 11 of them.

Although Alberta has a strong reputation for quality and service, competition from Australia and South

America is impacting the markets in Asia. The European Union aggressively competes with Alberta in the US market place.

This year is no exception. Quality issues in the 2015 crop, ample combined with a larger supply of low grade Canadian product are impacting price and export of the crop for this market. However, 2016 planting forecasts suggest fewer acres and corresponding higher prices!

Chris lastly outlined the case for growing oats: pony/milling oats priced @ $3.30/bu or $213.97/mt with anticipated yields of 2 mt (120 – 130 bu) acre equals $400.00 plus per acre (minus expenses). Certainly a crop to consider!

Canada’s feed industry consumed about 26 million tonnes/year or 32% of Canadian grains, oilseeds and pulses in 2014, valued at $4 billion. These were just a few of the facts presented by Rex Newkirk, Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology, Department of Agriculture and Poultry Science, U of S at Cropsphere 2016.

The Canadian Feed Research Centre (CFRC), located in North Battleford, and opened in late 2014 provides the opportunity to carefully examine the feed industry and create new feed ingredients meeting the nutrient requirements (protein, energy, fat and minerals) for the industry. The facility, has the capacity to conduct a full spectrum of feed manufacturing on 3 scales: lab (200kg); pilot (2T/h) and commercial scale (20T/h).

Oats are used mainly in the horse and as starting feedlot cattle feeds. Oats have limited use in hog and poultry feeds due to their high fibre, but its utilization is also somewhat price dependent. It may also be used when quality challenges occur in the feed industry. 2014 saw about one third of oat production used a feed.

For more information on the CFRC go to: http://agbio.usask.ca/research/centres-facilities/canadian-feed-research-centre.php

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