Saskatchewan oat harvest 90% complete but serious lag remains in northwest

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at 2:40 pm News Stories.

After multiple weeks of delay, many Saskatchewan producers were able to return to the field and complete harvest. Thanks to warm and dry weather last week, producers now have 90% of the provincial oat crop in the bin, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. This is up from 72% last week.

While many producers have wrapped up harvest or expect to in the coming days, the rest will need at least another week or more of warm and dry weather.  Delays continue in the major northwestern oat region where 74% of the crop is in the bin.

Sask Ag pegged provincial oat yield at 83 BPA this week, up 1 BPS from the previous estimate but well below Stats Can latest forecast of 91.5 BPA (Sept Model forecast).

If the Sask Ag yield is anywhere near accurate, oat production in the province will drop 9% or roughly 0.160 MMT from the Sept Stats Can estimate.  This would lower 2018/19 Canadian end stocks to near a record low of 0.362 MMT assuming feed use is unchanged from our current forecast.

Even if the oat yield/production estimate is somewhat higher than Sask Ag’s forecast, cash oat prices will need to remain firm relative to feed wheat and barley to stem on farm oat feed use of oats.

We are currently forecasting total Canadian oat feed use at 0.950 MMT, down 8% from last year’s seven-year high of 1.032 MMT (see chart top pg. 2). Use has averaged 0.972 MTM over the past five years.

There’s no room in the S&D for higher feed use. Feed use is a critical variable for Canadian oat balance sheet.