Prairie feed bids cool as temperatures rise

Winnipeg, (MarketsFarm) – Feed grain bids in southern Alberta are cooling down as temperatures warm up after a bitter cold spell earlier in the month.

After dealing with temperatures in the -20C to -34C range over much of the week ended Jan. 17, conditions in the key Lethbridge feeding area have flipped the other way. Daytime highs consistently rose above freezing the five days ended Jan. 23, and are forecast to remain in positive territory over the next week, according to Environment Canada.

Cattle need to eat more in colder weather, which underpinned prices and led to an uptick in buying interest during the latest cold snap.

“We’re seeing things leveling off now,” said Tracy Green, of Edmonton-based Market Master Ltd.

She said buyers were generally well covered for the time being, which should keep a steady to possibly softer tone in the market.

“Buyers are hesitant to book too far out,” Green said noting that end-users were waiting to see how much cheaper spring-threshed grain will be available in April. However, questions remain over the quality of the grain still left to harvest and how much will actually come off the fields.

Feed barley is currently priced in the C$225 to low C$230s per tonne delivered into Lethbridge. Bids were generally a few dollars per tonne higher the previous week.

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