By FWi staff
ANIMAL feed compounders are expected to use more feed wheat this year because doing so has become cheaper than using barley.
The latest figures from MAFF forecast a 10% rise in feed wheat usage this season to more than 6 million tonnes. In contrast, feed barley use is expected to fall below last years estimate of 3.3m tonnes.
On a tonnage basis, feed wheat remains more expensive than feed barley. But wheat has higher nutritional qualities, and lower prices this season have improved its competitiveness against other feed ingredients.
Ex-farm barley is currently trading at an average price of about £69/ tonne. Feed wheat costs only a little more at £73/ t.
Such low prices – together with a rise in pig and poultry numbers – is forecast to lift demand for feed wheat, according to the Home-Grown Cereal Authoritys Weekly Bulletin.
Cereal content in pig feed rations usually ranges from 25-50%. But higher amounts are often used for outdoor pigs, reports the HGCA.