Category Archives: Grain Purchasers

Canadian Grain Exports

Canadian Grain Exports

Grain Trends North America – 2016

Canadian grain exports of wheat, excluding durum, have reached nearly 10 million tons between August 2015 and January 2016. This is up from the same 2014 to 2015 period by almost 19% (8.1 million tons). March 2016 prices are averaging approximately $4.40 per bushel. Durum wheat is projecting a slight acreage increase due to the better prices in 2015.

With Canadian grain exports of 24.1 million tons this past year, Canada overtook the United States in wheat exports for the first time. This looks to be an ongoing trend with slight fluctuations over the next several years.

Globally, wheat production is trending lower for 2016. The U.S. projects the lowest exports since 1971 due to competition from other countries, including Canada. In addition, the higher prices and demand for pulses, or legume seeds, indicates a decrease in acreage for wheat and an increase for the pulses.

Canola is currently up from 4.1 million tons to 4.8 million tons for the crop year. This is a significant increase from the five-year average. Canola prices average $10.00 per bushel according to the latest prices and it doesn’t appear there will be much change in acreage.

There is a growing trend towards the production of pulses due to their high protein Dried Red Lentils - Pulse Cropscontent and increasing demand by consumers and restaurants. As the demand for this popular seed increases, it’s likely cereal grains will lose some acreage to pulse production. Prices are strong for lentils and peas at .25 to .40 per pound for lentils and $8.00 to $9.00 per bushel for yellow peas.

Overall, 2016 looks to be a mixed year for Canadian grain exports with wheat prices remaining stable and canola showing an increase. Pulses are likely to continue their current trend with a significant increase due to their growing popularity.



Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa, Timothy, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse crops.

GMO Wheat

GMO Wheat

While many people have heard the term “GMO,” some do not know what it really means. The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding GMO wheat and other GMO foods, since many claim that they are unsafe to consume and negatively impact the planet. In fact, it is illegal to grow GMO wheat in Canada and the United States.

Wheat is one of the most widely consumed crops on our planet. It is used in bread, GMO Wheat and Breadnoodles, cereal, beer and several other products. Unfortunately, the supply of wheat can’t keep pace with the ever-expanding number of humans. Some believe that genetically modified wheat is the solution, since massive amounts can be grown in a short period of time compared to traditional wheat. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of wheat.


GMO wheat can be grown in large volumes, since it is resistant to infections and parasites, which are major threats to conventional wheat. Proponents argue that we should opt to devote our limited farmland to this type of wheat, since it is highly efficient compared to relatively slow-growing traditional wheat.

Some argue that genetically modified wheat is of higher quality because it carries extra nutrients that boost the crop’s nutritional value. Scientists alter wheat’s genetics to make it much healthier to consume. It is also worth noting that this type of wheat can withstand some severe environmental conditions, including brutal cold spells and drought.


Humanity has yet to experience the long-term results of genetically modified wheat consumption, leading opponents to argue that it is potentially dangerous to human health. This type of wheat might have a negative impact on consumers’ bodies, but the real consequences are still unclear. Opponents believe that genetically modified wheat compromises antibiotic resistance and even affects allergies.

Those against GMO wheat also believe that it harms the environment. Arguments pertaining to GMO wheat’s negative environmental impact are extensive. Some state that this wheat causes a decline in biodiversity where a single crop emerges into dominance. Others say it is responsible for cross-pollination in which other crops are forcefully replaced.

There are also social consequences to genetically modifying wheat. Since improvements in GMO wheat are expensive to implement at this point, only wealthy farmers are able to take the GMO route.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.

Canadian Grain Exports

Canadian Grain Exports

Canada as a top producer of wheat in the world, typically places seventh among major wheat producing countries in yearly comparisons.Across Canada, nearly 52,000 farmers grow wheat on over 22.8 million acres of Canadian land. Although wheat is grown across the country, the majority of the production of Canadian wheat exports takes place in Western Canada.

Canada is also the second largest exporter of wheat in international trade, averaging overCanadian Grain Exporters 20 million tonnes exported annually. In 2012, this number surpassed 27 million tonnes.Canadian grain exports account for approximately 21% of all wheat exports in the world market. Wheat export revenues in Canada total almost $5.4 billion each year. Some of the major importers of Canadian grain exports are China, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, Iraq, and the United States.

In addition to producing a large quantity of wheat, Canada is also renowned for the quality of its wheat. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) established quality standards in the Canada Grain Regulations Section 5. In addition to maintaining quality standards, the CGC records annual crop year data for wheat.

The CGC divided wheat into several unique classes, based on the grains functional characteristics. Growing regions in Canada, Western and Eastern, determine the categorization placed on the classes. Each class possesses a certain set of characteristics and is best suited for specific end uses.

Because of the superior quality of Canadian hard wheat, it is primarily used in the making of pastas and semolina. This hard wheat, also called durum, accounts for nearly half the total of world exports with Algeria and Italy the two largest customers.

Not only is Canada a leader in wheat exports it is now the second largest exporter of barley in the world with an average of 3.8 million tonnes per year capturing 22% of the world’s trade in brewing and feed barley.

Canadian grain exports dominate the market with nearly four million tonnes exported annually, it accounts for 80% of the total exports of canola, and 10% of the total oil seeds exports on the world market. To put these figures in perspective, the second highest exporter of canola, the European Union, only exports just over 300,000 tonnes each year. As demand for canola continue to grow, Canada’s canola industry is soon expected to exceed 12,000 tonnes per day.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.

Canadian Grain Storage Systems

By Ammodramus (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ammodramus (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Record breaking Canadian grain crop yields and last year’s transport delays have sparked a greater interest and concern for grain storage options. Grain storage is a huge investment for Canadian farmers, but in order to keep up with growing farms and increased market demand for Canadian grain, older storage systems need to be updated.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development recently put together two fact sheets to help farmers make an informed decision regarding grain storage solutions. These sheets weigh out the pros and cons of each option by looking at cost comparisons including repairs and maintenance, different types of permanent and temporary storage systems as well as the size of each farm’s operation and requirements.

The two new fact sheets are Grain Storage: Cost Comparisons and Grain Storage Considerations.

The length of time a grain can be safely stored depends on the condition it was harvested and the type of storage facility. Low moisture content and low temperature in storage is essential for successful storage of grain and will prevent it from deteriorating, especially over longer periods of time. Other serious issues that can occur by faulty grain temperature or moisture content include a presence or increase of insects, mice, mold and fungi.

Depending on their operation, Canadian grain growers choose between permanent and temporary grain storage options. Permanent storage including affixed structures like corrugated or smooth walled steel bins, steel or fabric sheds, and farmer owned elevators. Temporary storage could include grain bagging systems, grain rings and tarps, bunkers or even open piles if the crop will be moved after a very short period of time.

Jennifer Stoby, a provincial market analyst for agriculture inputs commented on bins versus grain baggers in an article published in the Alberta Farm Express. She shared that operations need to store more than 70,000 bushels of grain per year to make the grain bagger option more competitive than steel bins. These findings can be reviewed in the Grain Storage: Cost Comparisons fact sheet.

Selling Grain in Western Canada

Canadian farmers looking to sell their grain crops can contact Barr-Ag. As wholesale buyers of Canadian farm crops we will buy locally produced oats, barley, wheat, flax, canola and pulse crops as well as Alfalfa and Timothy hays. Barr-Ag specializes in containerizing, loading and shipping Canadian grains to our extensive database of international purchasers.

Deciding on a brand new grain storage system could be made easier if you had a reliable buyer for your quality grain, oilseed and hay crops. Call Barr-Ag today to get a market price for your crop.



Spring Price Endorsement for Canadian Farmers

Canadian Canola

Canadian farmers have several options for insurance to protect the price of new crop canola. The Spring Price Endorsement is a price risk management tool, purchased as an endorsement on a crop specific basis. It will pay out if market prices decline below a determined level on actual production on a crop specific basis, according to a ‘within year’ price decline up to the coverage purchased.

Earlier this spring, Agriculture and Rural Development Alberta issued a press release reminding Canadian canola farmers of this option.

“The 2014 canola spring price under the AFSC Spring Price Endorsement (SPE) is $9.75/bushel,” says Neil Blue, market specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Vermilion. “A payout under the SPE would be triggered if the fall price drops by more than 10 per cent (i.e., 97 ½ cents/bushel) from this spring price. If the calculated fall price is below $8.77 ½ /bushel, there will be a payout under the Spring Price Endorsement.”

Blue continued to explain that the overall payout would equal spring price for Canadian canola of $9.75/bushel minus the fall price X crop insurance coverage in bushels. The Spring Price Endorsement (SPE) is limited to 50% of the price drop from the spring price ($9.75) or $4.88/bushel for 2014. The fall price for canola in 2014 is calculated by finding the average of the daily closing prices for ICE Futures Canada November canola during the month of October, then subtracting $20/tonne from that number. Prices less than $406.90/tonne in October would trigger a payout under the SPE.

It’s important for Canadian canola farmers to obtain all the information from the different pricing options, considering their costs of production, estimated crop carry-over, storage capacity, potential production and other financial needs. Keeping an eye on the current marketing environment and using different pricing alternatives will help farmers ‘spread out’ the pricing risks on this year’s crop.

“It may be prudent in the current crop marketing environment to use several different pricing alternatives to distribute the pricing risks of your upcoming crop,” Blue adds.

Looking for a Buyer for Your Canola and Other Crops?

Canadian hay truckBarr-AG Hay and Grain Exporters will buy your Canadian canola, oats, barley, wheat, flax, and pulse crops as well as Alfalfa and Timothy Hays.  We specialize in containerizing, loading & shipping Canadian grains and hays and we’re major wholesale purchaser of Canadian Farm Crops.

We offer Canadian grain growers the opportunity to sell their crops locally.  We have a good reputation and wide customer base in the international market, with years of experience producing and selling Canadian grains and hays overseas.  We have a huge database of reliable international purchasers who are in the market for Canadian canola and other oil seeds as well as grains and hay forages.

If you have a crop coming in and are looking for a market to sell your crop – Call Barr-AG today to get a market price on your crop.

Grains from Canada


CETA Benefits Canadian Grain Producers

Last month the Government of Canada announced the recently negotiated free trade deal between Canada and the European Union.  The Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) promises benefits to every region in Canada.  The European Union is one of the most lucrative markets in the world, and in Alberta it is already the fourth largest export destination after the United States, China and Japan.

This opens up a major market opportunity for agriculture food producers in Western Canada.  Canadian grain growers will be able to export products to a new market.  On the downside, the Canadian Dairy producers oppose the free-trade agreement.  They do not welcome the competition from the large European cheese market that will now be able to easily access Canadian consumers.

However, beef producers along with Canadian wheat, barley and oilseed producers have shown enthusiasm for the new deal.  Gaining access to this large and lucrative market forecasts an incredible revenue growth for Canadian grain growers.

In regards to CETA, Matt Sawyer, chair of the Alberta Barley Commission, told the Globe and Mail that “It’s good for Alberta, it’s good for Canada.  To have this opportunity for producers in Alberta and Canada to have access to basically 500 million more people is absolutely fantastic.”

CanolaCETA will also benefit Canadian canola growers.  The Canadian Canola Growers Association, which represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, is anxiously waiting a successful conclusion to the deal.  CETA will expand European market opportunities for Canadian canola products including canola oil for biofuels and canola meal for livestock feeds.

“By lowering oil tariffs, the exports of Canadian canola oil to Europe will increase in value by approximately $90 million, creating new demand for canola seed to feed our expanding oilseed crushing capacity,” said Rick White, General Manager of the Canadian Canola Growers Association.

“Our farms depend on trade, and the CETA is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is helping Canadian farmers achieve export success,” said White.

Presently, Canadian agriculture exports to the EU face high tariff rates, with the average tariff rates of 13.9 percent.  The removal of the current tariff on ‘common wheat’ or lower protein wheat varieties will benefit Canadian wheat.  Canada is known most for its high quality wheat but if tariffs are removed from other wheat varieties, Canadian wheat growers can more easily diversify their crops and focus on marketing several different varieties of wheat around the world.

In addition, almost 94% of EU agriculture tariff lines will be duty free.  This will give Canadian agricultural goods access to the EU market and a competitive advantage over producers from other countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the EU.  According to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement website, EU tariffs will be eliminated on:

  • grains, including oats (EU tariffs of $114/tonne), low- to medium-quality common wheat (EU tariffs of up to $122/tonne), and barley and rye (EU tariffs of up to $120/tonne);
  • durum and high-quality common wheat (maximum tariffs up to $190/tonne and $122/tonne respectively), for which CETA will lock in permanent duty-free access; and
  • oils, including canola oil (EU tariffs of up to 9.6 percent).

Having access to this market is a positive thing for Canadian grain growers and exporters like Bar-Agg Hay and Grain Exporters.  Barr-Ag is already an exporter of Canadian grains to countries around the globe and anticipates the expanded opportunities to market to the European Union.





Buying and Selling Canadian Crops

Grain-Buyers-1Until last year Canadian wheat farmers had to market their crops through the Canadian Wheat Board.  It’s been just over a year since the single desk monopoly ended, meaning western producers could freely market their wheat, barley and other Canadian crops on their own instead of going through the board.  Before this change, farmers would have to send their wheat to the board and the board would then export it to foreign markets.

There was some controversy regarding this change.  The main argument was that farmers could face selling their crops at a loss when the market was down without the protection of the Canadian Wheat Board.  There were also concerns that the quality of Canadian crops would decrease without the regulations of the wheat board, having a negative effect on international markets.

Others believe that regardless of this uncertainty in the market, farmers are no longer regulated by government-mandated marketing and have the opportunity to be more competitive and could increase profits.  They also argue that international markets will always pay extra for a premium crop, just as the wheat board did, so the quality of Canadian crops produced should remain high.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was stated in the Globe and Mail commenting that the change had given farmers the freedom to market their own grain.  He said that the ability to choose “the time, price and place” of grain sales has already resulted in higher profits for farmers.

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the crop-year average for 2012-13 for wheat was $285 per tonne.  Crops are larger and have seen a greater return.  In fact, the average pooled return on wheat during the previous five crop years under the wheat board was $257 per tonne.  That’s an increase of almost 11 percent.

Canadian wheat prices have been high in the last year, so producers have not felt the strain of uncertainty that was predicted with the fall of the wheat board monopoly.  Some believe the success of the 2012-13 year was a result of the new system.  Others believe the high prices were a result of major drought and crop failures that occurred in the United States this year.  They speculate that because of the drought, this year’s statistics do not show a clear representation of how the marketplace will look without the single desk wheat board.

Farmers must now search for the best buyer, and buyers have to be competitive with their bids.  Some farmers choose to sell to the Canadian Wheat Board, which is still operating and now competes in the open market.

Farm to Farm:  Buying Canadian Crops

Barr-Ag is a Canadian grain and hay producer with years of experience in international grain export.  Offering competitive market prices for Canadian grown crops, Barr-Ag will buy locally farmed wheat, oats, barley, flax, canola, alfalfa, timothy hay, as well as pulse crops for our international customers.  Local farmers can sell their Canadian grown crops to Barr-Ag, knowing it will reach a database of reliable, international purchasers.

Sell your crop today!