Statistics Canada’s latest report says field peas have taken some canola acres this year.
Approximately 4.3 million total acres will be dedicated to field peas, StatsCan said, marking a 300,000-acre increase from estimates earlier in the year, and up from the 3.6 million acres seeded in 2018.
Market participants expect that yellow peas will account for more than 80 per cent of the seeded area.
New-crop prices for green peas are around the $8 to $8.50 range, with yellow around $6.50 to $7.
“There are a lot of peas seeded in general, but as for yields, we’ll have to wait and see,” said Marcos Moisnain, trade manager for Canpulse in Mississauga. “It will all depend on the weather, right?”
India’s pulse crops have been garnering attention due to an unpredictable monsoon season.
“The amount of land in pulses was below average through the middle of June,” Brian Clancey of STAT Publishing said in a recent newsletter for Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.
Currently, India does not import field peas from Canada, but Clancey said weather and supply-chain woes have some millers pressuring the Indian government to increase import quotas for peas.
“The simple reality is that in a country of India’s size and with its transportation challenges, there are bound to be regional shortages,” Clancey wrote.
While an increase in Canadian acreage indicates an optimistic tone in the field pea market, 2019 remains a challenging growing season with lower-than-average rainfall, which could threaten yields.
“There is no great beam of light that would indicate that field peas will be getting a great price come fall,” said Bruce Burnett of MarketsFarm.
In addition to few canola acres (just under 21 million versus nearly 23 million a year ago), the latest StatsCan estimates forecast durum acres as 4.9 million, a sharp drop from 6.2 million last year.
The reduction in canola area “was not super surprising, given how dry it was and some of the lower prices as guys were making seeding decisions,” said market analyst Jonathon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions.
StatsCan pegged barley acres at 7.4 million, roughly one million acres above the 2018-19 level.