Posted  7 Jan, 2020 
In: Articles

Originally published December 23, 2019 on OrganicBiz

By Glen Hallick

MarketsFarm – For the most part prices were stable throughout 2019 for organics, according to two buyers. Added to that, the quality of the grains and pulses were generally good as well, although that changed during October.

Harro Wehrmann of Wehrmann Grain and Seed in Ripley, Ont. commented that prices for his long-term customers remained stable. He also noted that prices for sunflowers and edible beans increased slightly in recent weeks.

However, prices for feed grains recently declined a little said Wehrmann.

Even with the harvest like we had…a little more feed produced than normal, but the market held its own. – Scott Shiels

“Because of the poor harvest out West, there’s a lot of feed grain, so there’s a bit of pressure on feed grains,” he said.

Scott Shiels, grain procurement manager for Grain Millers in Yorkton, Sask., concurred that farmers with early contracts received good prices, especially for oats and flax. Farmers without contracts and looking to sell witnessed prices go down a little.

More specifically, Shiels explained flax prices were steady but strong throughout much of 2019, in the mid to high C$30’s per bushel.

He noted too that milling wheat has gained strength recently, but has yet to reach the high teens to low C$20’s of recent years.

To Shiels, feed grain prices have been stable.

“Even with the harvest like we had…a little more feed produced than normal, but the market held its own,” he stated.

As for quality, Wehrmann and Shiels said that depended on the type of crop and when it was harvested.

The soybean crop was not poor in quality, but short in volume. – Harro Wehrmann

Shiels noted that flax was below average due to dark seeds or being off-colour.

“What the milling flax market wants to see is a nice uniform colour. We’ve run into some issues with that,” he said.

Otherwise, the quality of the oats coming into Grain Millers has been pretty good this year.

Wehrmann noted the quality of corn and edible beans in Ontario for 2019 was poor, but things were better for soybeans.

“The soybean crop was not poor in quality, but short in volume,” he said.

The winter grains were also of decent quality, but the expected yields didn’t materialize, Wehrmann commented.

“Anything harvested after mid-October the quality was [poor],” he stated.

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