Oats have become more than just a breakfast staple in the US, providing more opportunities for Canadian farmers. Their oat exports skyrocketed by a factor of six between 1986 and 2013, transforming the grain from a domestically consumed crop into an export commodity. In the US, the Quaker Oats Company sources the majority of their supply from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
US oat milling operations have spiked in recent years with a concomitant decline in processing operations for food and industrial oat use in Canada. A consistent supply of high quality Canadian oats has US oat buyers clamoring to ramp up trade with their northern neighbor. Canadian oat yields reached a staggering 3.6 tonnes per hectare in 2017, eclipsing those of the global oat producing powerhouse Russia with yields of only 1.75 tonnes per hectare. In light of a slight increase in Canada’s total harvested area in 2017 to 1.05 million hectares, we recommend using Gro Intelligence to monitor what a potential oat supply glut might mean for trade and prices into 2018.