Grainworld: Room to produce large lentil, mustard crops

Winnipeg | CNS Canada — Because of record yields and production in 2013-14 for many crops, there’s not much room to produce large crops again this year.

But that’s not the case for lentils and mustard, as stocks of those two commodities aren’t as high compared to some others, such as wheat and canola.

Carryover stocks are expected to be around 210,000 tonnes in 2013-14 for red, green and special lentils, which is actually lower than the 307,000 tonnes that were left at the end of 2012-13, Simpson Seeds CEO Greg Simpson said during a presentation here at the Wild Oats Grainworld conference.

The lower ending-stocks figure compared to last year, and compared to other crops, paves the way for Canadians to produce another large lentil crop this year, Simpson said.

Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada told the conference that carryout stocks of mustard for this year are going to be tighter than last year as well, making it an attractive crop for farmers to grow this spring.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s latest supply and demand estimates call for a 2013-14 carryout of 30,000 tonnes of mustard, down from 36,000 tonnes in 2012-13.

One of the reasons why mustard stocks are tight, in a year when many other crops have abundant supplies, is because “yields were very good last year, but not bin-buster like we saw in other commodities,” Jubinville said.

Predictions call for increased acreage for both mustard and lentils this spring. Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions presented the firm’s spring planting outlook at Grainworld, pegging mustard acres at 375,000 from 365,000 acres last spring.

Simpson expected total seeded acreage to lentils would be around 2.85 million, with 898,000 acres for large greens, 228,000 to small greens, 1.57 million for reds and 156,000 acres to other specialty types. Last spring, a total of 2.7 million acres were planted to lentils in Western Canada.

With increased acreage for lentils and mustard this spring, comes expectations of larger production of both crops, which, in turn, will likely mean lower prices.

Because prices for mustard and lentils are expected to drop, Jubinville advised farmers to try and forward sell new-crop mustard now, to avoid taking lower values for it later on.

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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