Don’t let trade disruptions ruin your canola

Summer is a dangerous time for grain in the bin, especially canola. And China’s recent rejection of Canadian canola imports seems likely to keep that canola binned up tight, where it’s at a high risk of heating.

Some farmers have finished seeding and are preparing for spraying. Others have lots of seed to put in the ground.

Whatever your situation, chances are you’re focused on the task at hand. That work must be done now. So you’re not thinking about grain in the bin, says Wayne Clews. He says the 2018 crop has already been grown, harvested and binned. That’s when guys lose interest in it, in favour of seeding and spraying.

“I recall talking to a farmer from Vegreville (Alberta) some year back. He was telling me that the large number of reports of heated canola at the time was due to the low price,” says the founder of Clews Management.

“I said ‘How can that be Mike? Surely this is a joke.’ He replied that if the canola price was 14 dollars per bushel it would all have been sold long ago. But because at the time it was under eight dollars per bushel, it was still in storage and losses were being experienced every day. Is that similar to our situation today?

“The challenge of storing grains over four or five months changes greatly when stored over periods of perhaps six or eight months or longer. My prediction is there will be additional unnecessary losses as grains and oilseeds are stored over the summer. These do not need to happen if sound management is applied. There needs to be a brief and clear message that things can go wrong now, despite any level of comfort you might have.”

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