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CWB branching out into yellow peas

CWB (formerly the Canadian Wheat Board) is branching out to include a pool for yellow peas in its second year as an independent grain marketer in Western Canada.

In addition to its traditional wheat, durum and barley pools, CWB released its first-ever pool return outlooks (PROs) for field peas on Aug. 15, offering a pooled price of $330 per tonne (in store Vancouver) for peas signed up for the program before Sept. 13.

CWB has already been marketing some peas on a cash basis and is now offering the pooled option following a number of requests from farmers, said Gord Flaten, the company’s vice-president of grain procurement.

The reasoning for offering a pool for peas is similar to the case made for other crops: “It’s a risk management tool that interests some farmers, particularly for a commodity that doesn’t have a futures market,” said Flaten.

Farmers interested in an alternative to the straight cash marketing options currently available for peas should look into putting some into the pool to see how it works and compare with their cash results, he said.

Given the newness of the program, Flaten said there were no targets for how much peas the CWB would market this year and added that the total confirmed tonnage won’t be known until closer to the signup deadline.

Peas that are signed up will be sold directly to end users and to other companies at the port.

As far as other crops are concerned, Flaten said it was relatively easy to add another pool for another crop if needed, but said there were no other commodities being considered at this time.

CWB did introduce a pool for canola last year which was well received by participants, said Flaten.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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