Prairie quinoa yields likely to be down this year

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MarketsFarm — Shortly before the harvest of this year’s quinoa crop in Western Canada is about to start, expectations are for yields to be down from last year, according to Liam O’Halloran of the Northern Quinoa Production Corp. (NorQuin) in Saskatoon.

“As well as everything else we had some areas that had a little bit of moisture and crops are looking OK. In areas where wheat and canola struggled, quinoa struggled a little bit,” O’Halloran said.

This year’s harvest is most likely to start in about seven to 10 days, he added, with only a handful of producers already in the fields.

“Visual inspections of fields [show] there are definitely some fields that struggled with the drought,” he said.

He estimated about 12,500 acres of quinoa were grown in Canada last year, which provided yields of 1,100 to 1,200 lbs. per acre.

Price-wise, he said NorQuin was presently drawing up contracts for the coming season and declined to cite any prices.

“We’re looking at the global price of quinoa and what the markets are doing,” he said, noting South American production is a big driver.

Globally, Peru grows the majority of the world’s quinoa, with its 2020 crop estimated to be around 98,000 tonnes, followed by Bolivia at about 73,000 tonnes, according to IndexBox.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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