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Over the past year, there has been a marked rise in feed costs. Various strategies to address managing feed costs are currently being explored. This article is the fourth in a series that began earlier this month. Check your inbox for the emails sent on Friday, September 3, Tuesday, September 7 and Monday, September 20 for more information.
With feed costs surging by more than 60 per cent since August 2020 and drought conditions in summer 2021 precipitating summer feed cost increases of almost 20 per cent, producers are concerned about how long current market conditions will prevail.
In the previous articles, Alberta Pork highlighted some of the strategies that may be employed to curb feed costs. In particular, we focused on the delivering hogs a week earlier, shipping at lighter weights and feed cost modelling. This week we focus on a recently released Feed Outlook report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that considered current conditions in North America and around the world and made projections for the upcoming crop season.
U.S. corn production better than previously expected
The USDA raised its projected corn supplies for next crop year (2021/2022) mainly due to an anticipated 246-million-bushel increase in corn production. The projected increase is due to higher yields especially in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, as well as increased harvest acreages. With greater supplies, it is anticipated that corn use will also increase, but this increase will be spread across exports and domestic feed and residual use. The uptick in supply is expected to slightly dampen prices to around $5.45 per bushel. Already, prices have eased from the more than $7 per bushel highs in late spring but remains well above the $3 to $4 per bushel range indicative of prices over the past three years (Figure 1).