Western Canadian Barley Acreage Projected to Fall to Lowest Level in 40 Years

Farmscape for November 4, 2010   (Episode 3450)

The Canadian Wheat Board projects the volume of barley produced this year in western Canada will fall to its lowest level in 40 years.

The extremely wet 2010 growing season has resulted in an estimated eight to ten million acres remaining unseeded across the Canadian prairies.

Canadian Wheat Board weather and crop analyst Stuart McMillan says the five year average for barley production has been running at about 9.5 million metric tonnes but that figure will be down by at least 1.5 million this year.

Clip-Stuart McMillan-Canadian Wheat Board:
Early on in the crop year we had come out and said that on the impact of this weather that we would be looking at barley acres being about as low as they had since about 1965.

That was a bit of a tentative projection in saying that around 6.6 million acres of barley will be seeded and I personally think that that number is still about accurate.

Stats Canada came out initially at 7.8 million acres, they've finally revised down to a 7.7 so everybody is sort of within about a 6.6 to a 6.7 million acres of barley being sown which, regardless which one of those numbers is right, it is the lowest in over 40 years now.

We should be looking for good test weights.

The barley should be quite heavy across the board but I don't think we will be seeing overly high protein.

Certainly there will be some issues with sprouts.

Ultimately I think we'll be seeing sprouts as probably one of the major down-grading factors.

Then as well certainly some of the smudges and molds and mildews that are common with a wet fall period which we certainly had this year.

McMillan says, given the general shortfall in feed grains around the world  particularly out of the former Soviet Union, we'll be looking to see some exports out of Canada.

He expects to see more competition for feed grains later on as the Australian crop, which is anticipated to be large but of lower quality due to weather concerns, starts to come off.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council