Mustard looking to rebound, if weather co-operates

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

CNS Canada — Canadian mustard acres may be up on the year, but key growing regions missed out on recent rain and will need more moisture as the season progresses, in order to prevent a repeat of 2017’s drought-stricken crop.

“Mustard was offering some profit potential compared to some of the other options out there, so acres expanded a bit,” said Richard Marleau, chair of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission.

Statistics Canada’s acreage report released at the end of April pegged intended mustard area at 438,000 acres, which would be up from the 385,000 seeded in 2017. Yields were hurt by drought, and total production only came in at 122,000 tonnes in 2017.

Recent rains in Saskatchewan brought much-needed moisture to many areas, but Marleau said some key mustard-growing regions in the southwest missed out on the moisture.

“If the growing conditions come around, there could be lots of mustard” in 2018, Marleau said, adding that “if they don’t, it could be tight again.”

In addition to the dryness concerns, he said flea beetles were also causing problems and leading to reseeding in some cases.

Spot bids for old-crop mustard are now topping out at about 33 cents/lb. for yellow mustard, 33 cents for brown and 28 cents for oriental, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data.

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

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