CNS Canada –– High protein levels could prove a challenge for Canadian maltsters this year, but the quality of the country’s malt barley crop is generally looking better than had been expected as harvest activity starts up across the Prairies, according to a broker.
“Everything is high, high, high; high yields, high plump, high bushel weight, and high protein,” said Rod Green of Central Ag Marketing in Alberta on the early samples he’s seen.
While “it will all find a home,” Green said the higher average protein levels would be a concern for the maltsters who generally like to see lower protein barley.
The Canadian harvest is just getting started, and Green said recent rains may yet create some quality issues.
However, after one of the hottest and driest summers on record, the fact that barley yields are still relatively good was a pleasant surprise, and Green noted “it could be worse.”
From a pricing standpoint, malt barley bids can currently be found in the $5.50-$6 per bushel range, “which is still one of the best paying crops out there,” according to Green.
A large U.S. crop and the global economic uncertainty were bearish factors, but demand was also strong, which was keeping malt barley at a good premium over feed.
— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.