Canary seed growers expecting above-average yields

CNS Canada –– Where other crops are taking a beating, canary seed is reportedly thriving, with early, above-average yields expected.

“Canary seed handles excess moisture better than a lot of other crops,” said Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan.

“Its yield prospects and production prospects are probably a lot brighter than some other crops, particularly pulse crops — such as lentils — that are taking a terrible beating with excess moisture.”

Canary seed is usually harvested in September and sometimes even into October, Hursh said, as it’s a hardier crop that matures later and doesn’t take a lot of downgrades from weather.

This year, some crops look like they are ready to come off early, he said.

“Surprisingly I’ve seen some canary seed starting to change colour; even though we’ve had all this moisture I think some (crops) might be ready to come off.”

Other than some lodging in some of the heavier crops, the only other thing threatening yields is disease, Hursh said, adding that even with disease issues, yields should still be well above expectations.

Canary seed prices have been stable to soft for the last few months, ranging around 24-25 cents a pound, he said.

“Certainly people would like to see higher prices… but when you start comparing them to spring wheat, durum and even canola prices, which have all softened, it’s not a shining star but I think it’s competitive with other crops.”

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

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