High prices and ample supplies of domestic feed grains are limiting the amount of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) finding their way into western Canadian cattle rations from the US.
That situation is now expected to continue as long as the price spread between domestic wheat and barley and the U.S. imports remains wide.
“I would say that there are less cattle on DDGS now then there have been all winter, because of the price,” said Dave Guichon, president of Ag Value Brokers at Lethbridge, Alta.
While feeders sometimes use up to 30 per cent DDGS in their rations, that percentage has dropped considerably for the most part and in some cases DDGS have been taken right of the ration.
Corn DDGS from the U.S. can currently be brought into southern Alberta for about $250 per tonne, which compares with barley at $200 per tonne.
Most feeders will pay a premium for DDGS due to the added value the feed ingredient offers in a ration. However, at $50 above barley, the price has superseded any other performance benefits, said Guichon.
Ample feed wheat and barley supplies in Western Canada were also serving to keep a lid on any movement of feed ingredients up from the U.S., he noted. “It’s a no-brainer.”