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Pulse weekly outlook: Alberta markets optimistic despite weather

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

MarketsFarm — Varied weather across Alberta has made for an unpredictable pulse harvest.

“We’ve seen everything from drought-like conditions in the south, to an overabundance of water in the central region, and to some degree in the north as well,” said Leanne Fischbuch, executive director of Alberta Pulse.

Despite less-than-favourable weather conditions, pulse producers are optimistic. In particular, field pea crops are in favourable condition, and planted acres are up from previous years.

Similarly, fababean acres increased in 2019, and crop conditions are good. “They’re a moisture-loving crop, so they’ve been enjoying this type of weather,” Fischbuch said.

However, overly wet fields pose a challenge to harvest equipment making it on to the fields.

“The challenge, as we get close to harvest, is what are we able to harvest and put in the bin,” she said.

“We’re crossing our fingers but you never know, it’s very unpredictable at this point in time.”

Over the past week, parts of southern Alberta received hail and frost, along with temperatures around 4 or 5 C, that caused damage to some crops.

“People are watching, but there really isn’t anything you can do with respect to frost,” said Fischbuch.

“We’re just watching and trying to be hopeful that weather works out.”

— Marlo Glass writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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