It was a mixed bag for oat production this year on the prairies.
Prairie Oat Growers Association President Art Enns says Saskatchewan and Alberta had a real struggle, while most of the Manitoba crop was harvested in good shape.
He notes those two provinces still had a lot of the crop out in the field when the wet conditions arrived last month.
"One of the things that is still unclear is the quality of that crop that came off that late. Anyone that's a oat grower knows that if the oat has been in wet weather for over a month, usually it doesn't make milling oats. There is a question of what the quality is like especially this large portion that came out late in the year," Enns said.
Enns says overall oat acres were down about 20 per cent across western Canada.
He was asked how things are looking for next year.
"That's going to be the crystal ball, it will all depend on price. You know as far as competition is concerned oats has a lot of competition, especially in Manitoba where you can grow anything you want basically, Saskatchewan also has a lot of options out there. It will depend on what the prices are doing on the other commotities, especially in Saskatchewan you always have the wheat, you have the pulses that fight for acreage out there," he said.
He notes it's not all bad news, as Mexico has upped its oat imports this year.
As well, China has expressed interest in oats and is just waiting for market access approval.