Early Sask. lentil, pea harvests likely to support prices

CNS Canada –– Saskatchewan’s dryness could likely mean an earlier harvest and smaller yield for pea and lentil crops this year, according to a regional crop specialist.

That means new-crop prices will be supported, said Chuck Penner, president at LeftField Commodity Research.

Old crops are disappearing, he said, and the market will become active as soon as farmers start harvesting. “Buyers are ready to take this crop as soon as it’s off the combine.”

Pea and lentil prices will dip slightly right after harvest, he said, especially if farmers sell heavily, but he expects the market to recover after that.

Shannon Friesen, a regional crop specialist with Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw, said lentil crops in the province’s west and pea crops in the province’s south are much more advanced than they should be.

There are indications desiccation will begin in August, which means farmers will start harvesting soon after, she said.

“It is possible to have a smaller amount of crops this year, you know, because we have a lot of stress from a lack of moisture.”

Many pea and lentil crops are in good shape, however, as the amounts of moisture crops got has varied across the province. Most crops are reaching the flowering stage, but some are full-pod already.

Brent Flaten, integrated pest specialist at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, said if things stay the same in the province, many crops could see an earlier harvest.

“The crop is less vegetative this year, so it’s blossoming a bit earlier,” he said.

On the plus side, besides dryness, other complications for Saskatchewan’s crops have been at a minimum, Friesen said.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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