Pulse weekly outlook: Large Canadian crops expected

MarketsFarm — Canada will have grown a record-large pea crop in 2020 and possibly the second-largest lentil crop ever, according to preliminary estimates from Statistics Canada, released Monday.

Using satellite imagery and model-based yield estimates, the government agency pegged the 2020-21 Canadian field pea crop at 4.996 million tonnes. That would be a new record for the pulse crop and about a million tonnes above the five-year average.

Seeded pea area was actually down 2.5 per cent on the year, but Statistics Canada is forecasting record yields of 44.3 bushels per acre.

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Lentil production is forecast at 2.804 million tonnes, which would be up by 27 per cent on the year and second only to the 3.194 million-tonne lentil crop grown in 2016. Seeded area of 4.23 million acres in 2020 was well below the 5.57 million lentil acres grown in 2016, with large yield expectations also accounting for the big crop projection.

“I still think that crop could be three million tonnes (of lentils),” said Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro — although he added that questions remain over how much was lost due to disease issues during the growing season.

Disease losses in peas are also still a question mark, with the final production estimate not out until December.

Green peas are currently priced at $7-$8.30 per bushel across Western Canada, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. Yellow peas top out at $7 per bushel. Large green lentils are trading as high as 30 cents/lb.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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