Usage of wheat in GB feed production was 1.9% higher than previous year levels, but barley usage was 13.2% lower, said the UK levy board, in a publication released yesterday.
Total cereal usage between July and December was 3.3m tons (Mt), up 89.4 thousand tons (Kt) from the same period last year, found ADHB.
Increasing use of corn in feed rations
“The amount of cereals used in UK compound and integrated poultry unit (IPU) animal feed production reached a record high in the first six months of the 2018/19 season.”
A key reason for this rise is the increasing use of maize (corn) in GB animal feed production, said AHDB. The grain recorded a year on year increase of 112.1Kt between July and December 2018, to total 282.6Kt.
The price competitiveness of imported maize over domestic wheat and barley in recent months was behind that trend.
Comparing the first six months of the 2018/19 season to the 2017/18 season, wheat usage rose slightly (45.4Kt) to reach 2457.2Kt. However, barley fell by 81.9Kt to 536.7Kt, while usage of oats was recorded at 40.4Kt, an increase of 13.8Kt, reported AHDB.
UK barley prices have fallen recently with the average UK feed barley price reaching £155.20/t, it added. They were at a £14.90/t discount to feed wheat for the week ending 31 January 2019.
“This also places domestic feed barley at a discount to imported maize (any origin), which stood at £160.00/t as at 4 February 2019. This could represent an opportunity for those who can to switch to using more barley in the feed ration going forward.”