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US Corn Crop Expected to Drive Feed Grain Prices

US Corn Crop Expected to Drive Feed Grain Prices

27 March 2015
Manitoba Pork Council

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US - A weather and crop specialist with CWB says, while anticipated reduced US corn planting this year will impact feed grain prices, it's unlikely to alter planting decisions on the western Canadian prairies, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The early snow melt is expected to allow prairie farmers to get on the land earlier than usual this spring.

Bruce Burnett, a weather and crop specialist with CWB, says like last year in terms of profitability some of the specialty crops are favored this year, including pulse crops like peas, field peas and lentils, as well as durum on the western prairies because of higher than expected returns and some additional oilseeds.

Bruce Burnett-CWB:

The indications in the US are for a reduction in the corn acreage that we're going to see as well as an increase of soybeans.

Part of this has to do with the profitability of the corn crop outside of the main corn belt in those areas like North Dakota, parts of South Dakota.

The more fringe areas of production soybean profitability looks a lot better than the corn profitability this year so we should see a reduction in the corn acreage.

Of course this can change as prices change into the planting season.

But I think you're looking for about a million to two million acre reduction in corn area and possibly a similar type of increase in the soybean area, maybe even a little bit more as some spring wheat gets moved into soybeans as well.

Mr Burnett acknowledges corn plantings in the US will go a long way in determining what feed grain prices will be but he doesn't expect prices to move enough to change planting expectations on the prairies.

He says although the size of the US corn crop will impact feed grain prices overall we're not going to see a big change in our planting intentions because of a change in the US intentions.

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