Pulse weekly outlook: Saskatchewan crops fight off record heat

File photo of a pea crop south of Ethelton, Sask. on Aug. 1, 2019. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — The “heat dome” which enveloped Western Canada last week delivered a blow to Saskatchewan’s pulse crops.

Thirty-four temperature records were shattered on Friday, including those at Regina, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton. Saskatoon and Lucky Lake, northeast of Swift Current, were the province’s hot spots that day at 40 C. Nine more records were broken the next day, when Weyburn had the highest reading at 35.7 C.

The prolonged heat wave and lack of precipitation have combined to create crop conditions which are far from ideal.

“The crops look better from the road than when you actually go into them,” said Melody Ector, owner and vice-president of Diefenbaker Spice and Pulse at Elbow, Sask., where the mercury hit 39 C on Friday. “(They’re) fair, if anything. They’re not good. They do need rain.”

Despite the heat damage suffered by crops near Elbow, 130 km south of Saskatoon, lentils there have handled the heat better than others.

“They are looking OK in our area. They’re looking better than the canola, the durum, the wheat. I’ve seen pictures on Twitter of the pea crop. They do not look good at all,” Ector said, adding that current crop conditions will result in higher prices on the market.

“I see the prices to be steady or increase for chickpeas, lentils and peas just because the condition of the Saskatchewan crop isn’t looking good. We just need rain,” she said.

However, there was some relief on Sunday as parts of southern Saskatchewan received various amounts of rainfall. Kindersley, in the west-central region, saw 70 mm of rain in a 30-minute span.

“(Elbow) did get (10 mm), which helped. But with the heat we experienced over a whole week of high temperatures, we need more than what the forecasts (say),” Ector said.

— Adam Peleshaty reports for MarketsFarm from Stonewall, Man.

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