Pulse School: Tuning in to the fall market

The pulse harvest in Alberta and Saskatchewan is in its late stages now, and although there are some anecdotal observations of better-than-expected quality, it’s not all ideal.

“There is some sprouting, and there is a lot of earth tag,” says Chuck Penner, of Leftfield Commodity Research, adding the visual damage is worst for green lentil and green pea crops.

But, despite early season fears for pulses in Western Canada, farmers are seeing better-than-expected yields.

“In terms of production…pea production is probably…the second to largest on record,” says Penner, with a little more green peas coming in, likely inspired in part by last year’s premium.

And while red and green lentil prices didn’t look very enticing this spring, farmers planted about the same as 2018.

“What that tells me is that, you know, we used to think of pulses as being in and out of rotations strictly on price signals, but they’ve really become a more steady part of those rotations, and more important that way.”

In this episode of the Pulse School, Penner walks through the latest in the pulse market, specifically covering trade with India and China, and whether or not the demand for pulses will eat up the Canadian supply.

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