Some say oats is the ‘bellwether’ crop, indicating the coming trend for crop commodities overall. If that’s the case, we’re in for some exciting times.
Delayed seeding in eastern Saskatchewan is important to the oats situation, as this is region has seen strong growth in oats production in recent years. Crop conditions in parts of the Red River Valley in Manitoba, also a major supplier, are also very poor due to heavy rains seen in recent weeks.
A big drop in production holds the potential to create a friendlier fundamental picture for 2010/11. Not only are rains delaying seeding, in Saskatchewan, it will be important to watch how producers treat the $50/ac government payment for fields unable to be planted. Some are saying this will lead to overall fewer oat acres going in the ground (and Stats Can’s 3.9 million acre forecast was already historically very low). However others have noted that oats is a cheap crop to plant that will use up the moisture and as such will be favoured for late-seeded fields.