Mustard crops look good, harvest underway in SW Sask.

Brown mustard. (Peggy Greb photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

CNS Canada –– Canada’s mustard crop is seen to be in a good state right now as harvesting begins in some areas of the country.

“I think harvest has started in the southwest part of Saskatchewan. That’s the earliest start because they were the first to get in the fields,” said Walter Dyck of Olds Products at Lethbridge, Alta. “And I know there where some timely rains that did hit in that period, in the last month, so I think that mustard crops overall are looking pretty good.”

However, some mustard crops were impacted by heavy storms that passed over the growing regions, according to Dyck.

“There were some storms that went through early August that might have had an effect,” he said. “But up until that point, mustard really hasn’t been affected too much with hail, not anything too much worse than previous years.”

Other than some hail damage, he said, mustard crops haven’t had any other significant production issues.

“The mustard usually escapes a lot of the insect threats that come about, it’s just the flavour of the mustard,” said Dyck. “But I haven’t heard anything that has caused any concern as far as needing spray or anything like that. I think some insects have been spotted in crops but I think in most cases it hasn’t been close to that threshold.”

Mustard prices are currently at a good place, he added, and “holding up really quite well given what’s going on in other grain and oilseed markets.”

Brown mustard is now running around 30 to 33 cents a pound, while yellow mustard is closer to 36 cents/lb., he said.

“It’s really holding up quite well from where prices were a year ago, they haven’t really come off that much,” he said. “And I think the main thing there is low inventory, and possibly some higher demand from Europe is always a possibility, but I’m not too sure what’s going to develop there at this point.”

Southern and central Alberta will be next to start harvesting mustard, Dyck said, and the rest of Saskatchewan will probably begin in the next week or two.

“Things are really coming along quite well this year, yields are looking above long-term averages for sure and last year was a really good year for average mustard yields,” he said.

“And this year I don’t think it’ll get that high on average, but it’ll be pretty close, and I think a lot of farmers will be somewhat surprised with their yields.”

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


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