Edible pea market watching weather

(Resource News International) — The edible pea market in Western Canada is watching the weather along with most other commodities for the time being.

Dry conditions in the pea-growing regions of southwestern Saskatchewan, along with slightly smaller seeded area, should provide some support for new-crop values, although end-use customers appear content to wait on the sidelines until the crop is farther along.

Barb Reimer of Walker Seeds, a specialty crop processing firm at Tisdale, Sask., said there were small bits of old-crop peas still moving, although to date there has been little success marketing the new crop.

Values for both old- and new-crop yellow peas are holding reasonably steady around the $5.75-$6 per bushel level.

Reimer said the activity in new-crop peas was much quieter this year compared to most other years, with participants on both sides waiting to see what happens with the crop.

Pea acres are down slightly on the year, according to Statistics Canada. In a report released June 23 StatsCan pegged pea acres at 3.745 million, which compares with 3.995 million in 2008.

Dry weather conditions in southern Saskatchewan will likely keep the overall production from coming in above average, Reimer said. However, conditions everywhere else have been reasonably good for peas, although the crops were delayed by the cool spring.

The lateness of the crops could increase the risk of frost at harvest time, she said. “Usually we start harvesting in mid- to late August, but I don’t think we’ll see much of that happening this year,” said Reimer.

Reimer expected the weather concerns would keep prices supported heading into the harvest period. “But, you never know, it could turn around too depending on what July’s like,” she added.

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