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Olds Products News

Study suggests celiac disease has quadrupled since 1950s

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Click here to read more about the rising trend of Ciliac Disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, rye and spelt. Currently, the only treatment available is the adoption of a lifelong gluten free diet.

The interesting aspect of this wheat allergy disorder is that it affects the eating habits of the entire family. 

At Olds Products, food quality is our chief concern.  That is why all of the mustards we produce are 100% Natural and Gluten Free, so you can enjoy them with all of your foods, whatever your diet.

 

Gluten Free Seal Introduced

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

In response to consumer requests, Koops' Mustard has introduced a new All Natural/Gluten Free logo to easily identify product as safe for persons with Ciliac Disease. 

2016 Crop Reports

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

November 4, 2016

The completion of the 2016 mustard harvest continues to drag on for approximately 20% of the growers in Alberta and Saskatchewan as they await a drier and warmer weather trend (maybe this week?). Olds Products has several mustard growers in Saskatchewan and Alberta that have their mustard remaining in the field. In all cases the mustard is ripe – quality is good – and growers are waiting for seed moisture levels to come down to more manageable levels. 9.5% is considered dry for mustard but levels under 13% at harvest can be managed with good storage practices (i.e aeration bins) including bin rotation. I have heard that several growers in Canada have experienced the expensive lesson this year of how quickly mustard can deteriorate (heating) during storage. It should be noted that wet and dry mustard will blend to some extent in storage but it should never be assumed they will average down evenly – if at all.

Spot growers who harvested their mustard but did not have a production contract are receiving bids for all types (yellow, brown and oriental) below price levels not seen in the last five years. The lower bids are direct response to the current imbalance that has a higher level of spot supply looking for a bid than spot demand looking for an offer. Typically this time of the year there can be significant buyer interest from the spot market but after last year, when spot prices soared, more buyers changed their practice and bought earlier and committed to the contract market. The wild card this year will be demand for yellow mustard in Europe (not normally sourced from Canada) but perhaps at the lower prices there may be wiggle room to expand our exports. Russia and the Ukraine have good supplies of good quality yellow mustard and likely will not give up their market share easily.  

In my two previous mustard market reports (May and August 2016) I noted how spot mustard acresin Canada, in my opinion, unexpectedly surged in May in response to the high spot prices at the time. Prior to last May, new crop grower interest was more focused towards lentils and, as a result, I was expecting very little increase in new crop acres for mustard in Canada over the previous year (350,000 acres for all types in 2015).  The industry numbers (Ag Canada, Sask Ag and Stat Canada) agree that Canada not only grew over 500,000 acres of mustard in 2016 but also at a possible record average yield of over 20 bu/acre (1000 lbs) for yellow and 24 bu/acre (1200 lbs) for brown/oriental. (I am much less certain on the acres.) In the USA, Montana and North Dakota, there were higher losses due to hail but yellow yields should still average close to 900 lb/acre. This is also above the 5 year average. Our highest grower yields for 2016 were in Alberta where a few yellow growers produced over 1500 lb/acre.

Using the above industry acres and the actual average yields it is not difficult to predict that a significant carryforward of 2016 crop at July 31, 2017 will exist compared to the previous two years.  Depending on actual exports the number could be anywhere from 3-5 months usage (10,000 MT/month).  This is not a large burden by any stretch when compared to higher levels seen in the past 20 years. (There was over a 12 month carryforward in 2004 and 2005.) It should be noted that mustard, especially yellow, has always been considered a highly yield variable crop from one year to the next. History tells us that carryforwards can be large one year and disappear within the next two. The 2016 carryforward will no doubt influence 2017 grower pricing and the level of spot acres but to what extent remains to be seen. For Olds Products we will remain committed to the same growers as in 2016.  We understand that you cannot blow off acres one year and try to get them back the following year without a rare fluke such as a late season acre rally like we saw this year. As well, Olds Products will be committed (as we have in previous years) to buying all additional production (overproduction- grower willing) from its contract growers before the 2017 harvest.             

2016 contract yellow mustard movement off farms has been very steady since September for Olds Products. Approximately 30% of total production has been picked up off farm. Inventory levels of cleaned 2015 yellow in North America were run to zero in October by end use processors.  Since then the entire industry has been using 2016 yellow mustard for all wet and dry mustard processing.  This is much earlier than normal.

2016 contracted brown mustard movement for Olds Products off of farms will begin in November, but stocks of 2015 cleaned brown mustard will continue to be processed at least through December at our processing facility in Pleasant Prairie, WI. 

Thank you,

Walter Dyck

 

August 8, 2016

I completed my mustard crop tour/inspection in July and after driving almost 4,000 miles (that’s like driving from Prince Rupert, BC to Key West, FL!) through our mustard contracting area in ND, MT, AB and SK I was very pleased with the crops’ progress and potential. Aside from some hail damage to a small percentage of growers (5%) the mustard fields were mostly through, or just at the end of, the flowering stage. The Olds Products contracted mustard fields:

  • looked clean – effective herbicide control
  • above average yield potential based on a high germination rate, larger than average pod zone on each plant, and above average seeds per pod (6-8)

The higher yield potential this year (1,000 plus lbs/acre) was achieved largely  by above average rain amounts during the flowering stage in July (5-8 inches in Canada) throughout the mustard growing areas. Receiving that amount of rain in July in those areas is extremely rare and, combined with above average May/June rainfall, the mustard is set up for excellent potential this year.

Rain and storms continue to make the news on the western prairies of Canada this week after some soaking yesterday in AB/SK. Growers are now hoping for dry weather as they prepare for harvest but August forecasts for the CDN prairies are cooler and wetter than normal. The first of our contracted mustard was harvested in North Dakota last week, and next week more will continue. In Canada it will be at least a few more weeks before the combines are started on the wet fields.

During my mustard tour in July I did not see evidence of the increased mustard acres (2016 - 515,000 acres, 2015 - 375,000 acres) in Canada but in talking to some of the growers in southwest Saskatchewan at least some of the increase may be there. Many of the increased mustard acres in Canada were last minute seeding decisions and:

  • planted on fields that previously grew canola as the oilseed in the farm rotation (quality concerns)
  • grown to fill storage bins that will only be sold when the spot price is near or at record highs- regardless of the time to get there

As mentioned in my last report USA yellow acres also increased significantly from 2015 (2016 - 60,000 acres, 2015 - 45,000 acres) and these acres were all contracted prior to seeding (no last minute seeding decisions). Yields there (MT and ND) are also expected to be 1,000 plus lbs/acre.

Spot mustard bids in Canada appear to be down sharply in anticipation of a much larger harvest than in 2015, but it should be noted that the mustard is not in growers’ bins yet. Yellow mustard buyers will need new crop supply in September to meet zero inventory levels and this will largely come from their contracted mustard supply. Growers who grew without a contract and are searching for a bid in August will find levels much lower than 2016 contracted levels. If current yield potential of 1,000 + lbs/acre is realized (highest average yield) then the supply of mustard will stretch into early 2018.  This is not that unusual, but none-the-less quite surprising given the outlook in March.

In preparing for harvest it should be noted that the USA now has an established Mximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 40 ppm for glyphosate on yellow mustard. Growers considering using a pre-harvest desiccant (rarely used for mustard) should still check the product label for proper registration and application.

I have mailed the USA grower harvest sample bags(s) and next week will mail the sample bag(s) to our Canadian growers along with the instructions for sending the representative harvest sample. Thank you.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Regards,

Walter

July 5. 2016

The 2016 Mustard crop is now in full bloom (some areas near the end and some just beginning the 3-4 week bloom period) and the progress through June has been very good with timely rains throughout the mustard growing area of Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana. The biggest concern among growers, when crops look this good, are storms that produce hail, but at this time damage has been limited to a small percentage of the fields.

Statistics Canada and the USDA provided their forecast for 2016 mustard acres last week and the results surprised many in the industry, including myself. The forecast for Canada is up over 10% from earlier industry predictions to 525,000 acres, compared to 350,000 acres in 2015, and the USA is reporting 60,000 acres seeded to mustard in 2016, compared to 45,000 in 2015.  Most of the seeded acre increase in Canada is Yellow and Oriental and in the USA it is virtually all Yellow Mustard. 2016 contract prices for Yellow and Oriental were comparatively strong against most crops except lentils, and that, combined with very strong spot prices earlier in 2016, attracted more acres than previously predicted. Many of the spot growers who sold Yellow (at the highest levels since 2008) earlier this year may now be replenishing their empty bins and growing mustard again – and then locking up again.

The result of the favorable growing conditions and the increased acres seeded to mustard have reduced spot price offerings for new crop to similar levels as 2016 grower contract prices (any old crop is sold out).  If mustard yields hold up to current, above-average yield estimates then, for the first time this year, there is potential for crop carryforward supply to 2018.  (The 2016 crop was expected to supply customers through most of 2017…barely). The carryforward, if any, will be smallest for Brown mustard (60,000 acres) due to the 20% decrease in acres from 2015. Oriental acres surged by almost 100% from 2015 to 100,000 acres and Yellow acres are up 40% to 360,000 acres in Canada, the highest since 2009.

I will do my 2016 mustard acre touring/inspections starting next week and then report with yield estimates. In early August I will mail grower sample bags along with sample return information. Please let me know if you have any questions.

May 15, 2016

Contract growers for Olds Products received their certified Andante (yellow) or Centennial (brown) seed in the first half of April and seeding in all mustard growing areas (S. AB, SW SK, NW ND, SW ND and NE MT) for Olds Products  has seen very good progress since then (over 50% complete). Last week the weather was warm (in fact some days were unusually hot for early May) and dry after receiving anywhere from a ½ inch to more than 1 inch of rain in the previous week in most of our growing areas. Prior to receiving the rain last week many growers in MT, AB and SK were concerned with the lack of topsoil moisture which is needed for effective germination, but those concerns have been calmed for the time being with the recent rains.

In our ND growing areas the soil moisture conditions are excellent and growers are there are hoping for some dry weather so they can proceed with their seeding. This week will see more rain/snow hit the growing areas (large amounts are not forecast) and the temperatures will be cooler as seeding takes a bit of a break. Some areas will receive temperatures below freezing this week and that is always a concern when plants have emerged from the ground. Mustard has proven to have very good  tolerance to Spring frost over the years and a year ago was no exception as much of the growing areas had significant frost events- but no re-seeding was necessary.  

Mustard crop fundamentals remain and are:

  • Almost no farm inventory of yellow, brown or oriental mustard at 31-May-2016
  • Dealer/processer old crop inventories will be drawing down to zero by October/November 2016 (or earlier)
  • 2016 total mustard acres in Canada and USA are higher than last year by 25% (mostly in Canada) but the 450,000 acres will provide very little in carry-forward supply to 2018
  • Spot prices (bid levels) have decreased to 2016 contract price levels 

The El Nino weather pattern is expected to weaken in the next few months and the outlook is for dry conditions in the AB and SK through June which will not help yields. On the positive side the sub soil moisture reserves are rated good throughout our mustard growing areas. Mustard can be very effective at harnessing deep moisture reserves with its tap root provided the most intense summer heat comes after the flowering stage.

I plan to report again after the 2016 seeding is complete (2-3 weeks). Please provide me with a quick text or email with the progress of your mustard and the conditions when suitable for you. Thank you!

Walter Dyck

February 19, 2016

2016 mustard acre contracting for Olds Products continues with growers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana. Progress has been good and virtually all contracting goals (almost 35% higher for yellow over 2015) for 2016 have been met at this time with the exception of a small amount of brown acres and some organic yellow. Our inventory levels for cleaned yellow mustard are expected to be empty late in October this year and new crop deliveries will be steady as we replenish our inventory. The 2015 contracted mustard pick-ups for Olds Products continues at a very good clip due to the mild and snow-lite winter – there has been very little plowing necessary to get at bins.

Ag Canada is predicting   just over 400,000 acres for mustard in Canada (some industry insiders are predicting 450,000 acres) which will be up by 25% over 2014. If yields are average (750 lb/acre) then look for a slight build in carry-forward stocks – possibly a 1-2 month export build (10,000 MT/month) at the farm level at 31-July-2017. 

Spot market prices for yellow mustard continue to see heights not seen since 2008.  Contract interest for Olds Products has been strong in Alberta and North Dakota/Montana. In Saskatchewan the interest appears more towards growing yellow mustard without a production contract. 

There may be a resurgence in Manitoba mustard acres due to the higher prices, new larger mustard varieties (Andante) and the use of color sorters. Manitoba was a large force in mustard production in the 70’s and 80’s but faded in the 90’s due to low grades on account of wild mustard. Today if black seeds such as wild mustard are a grading issue in yellow mustard they can be removed with a color sorter.

Due to the expected record low farm inventory of yellow mustard at 31-July-2016 it can be expected to be a volatile period for spot prices through harvest. Spot prices will move up and down in this time period depending on the latest news regarding expected vs. actual yellow mustard acres seeded in Canada (possibly 325,000 acres in 2016 compared to 225,000 in 2015), the USA (possibly 50,000 acres compared to 44,000 in 2015) and the growing prospects influenced by rainfall etc. 

Spot prices for brown mustard remain steady due mainly to declining demand from Europe. Eastern Europe and France are producing more brown mustard than in many years and this takes the pressure off Canada which for the last 40 years was really the only shop to buy. The export peak was in 2008/09 when over 40,000 MT was exported from Canada but in 2015/16 there may be only 20,000 MT-25,000 MT shipped to Europe/USA. I do not see this trend changing due to rising confidence in European production of yellow and brown mustard. Despite the drop in our CDN dollar vs the USD the drop has not been nearly as severe against the euro. Also, Russian and Ukrainian currencies have sunk far more than the CDN dollar from their highs before the civil war in the Ukraine. Production and interest from growers for new crop brown has been spotty at best due more interest in growing without a contract in Saskatchewan – due to the lower price when compared to yellow plus the current and forecasted dry conditions through Spring in southern parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta. I expect 5,000 acres in Alberta and 60,000 acres in Saskatchewan for 2016- down slightly from 2015.

Oriental mustard continues with its bullish ways this year as dealers and processors try to move inventory levels higher. There is no doubt that end use demand is up slightly in last two years but the biggest reason for the higher prices is the slide in the seeded oriental acres in the last 10 years due to the lack of attention from contracting and end use companies. Gone are the days when you could count on oriental supply from the spot market at relatively cheap levels despite good yields in 2015 and increased acres. At these levels some growers are shifting to oriental in 2016 from yellow. I expect 60,000 acres of oriental will be grown in Saskatchewan – about the same as 2015.

The big wildcard when estimating new crop mustard acres is the interest (either added or reduced) that can come in the few weeks before seeding. The lack of certified planting seed in both Canada and USA will certainly curtail more acres if there is added grower interest this Spring. 

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Thank you.

Walter Dyck

2017 Crop Reports

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

July 12, 2017

All mustard crops throughout the mustard growing area of Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana have been stressed this year from the lack of rain received since seeding. Alberta mustard crops have fared the best on average by receiving 2-3 inches since late April, and Montana/Western ND/parts of Southwestern SK  did the worst by receiving virtually nothing. Other areas in Saskatchewan and North Dakota have fared about the same as Alberta. In addition to the lack of rain that is 50 % of normal at best – and not much more is forecast – has been the extreme heat in almost all areas over the past two weeks. The forecast is for more extreme heat (+30C for many days and +35C for a few) over the next two weeks. Earlier seeded mustard that received a more gentle rain after seeding is holding up the best and the worst crops are those that did not germinate evenly due to the lack of much needed germinating moisture in the soil at seeding. 

The next few weeks will tap the sub-soil reserves and mustard plants, with their deep roots suited for dry warmer years, will do what they can to survive either by letting flowers fall or not fully filling the pods that form after flowering. Overall where moisture has been received the mustard is holding up very well especially when compared to canola that is considered more of a cool season crop. 

Virtually all of the 2016 mustard crop contracted by Old Products has now been picked up and delivered to our cleaning/storage facility in Drayton. Our inventory levels are high again for yellow mustard which we expected them to be after the above average yields in 2016. Our brown mustard requirements, however, will rely on the 2017 production soon after harvest due to lower carryforward stocks caused by heating of two key growers’ storage bins. I plan to send out harvest sample bags in the next few weeks and will begin my crop touring/inspections in the same time period. Next week, together with Bill and Augie from the head office, we will visit a few farms near Calgary, Alberta before seeing some organic production in the Saskatoon area. We will also take in the crop tour planned by SMDC at the Ag Canada farm in Saskatoon next Tuesday.  

At this time spot yellow prices have changed little due to the resilience of the 2017 mustard crop and the significant reserves from 2016 in both Canada and the USA.  Brown mustard prices, on the other hand, are showing more firmness due to the lack of carryforward stocks from 2016. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks,

Walter

May 30, 2017

Mustard planting has been in full motion the past two weeks and now virtually done except for an area in central SK and southern MB where Olds Products has some organic grower contracts. Mustard has had good emergence from planting. Most areas could use some rain in the next few weeks to aid the growth, but most areas report good subsoil moisture and overall good conditions. I did receive a phone call on the weekend from a grower who was spraying for flea beetles in Govan, SK region of Saskatchewan.

Contracted acres for Olds Products are only slightly lower in 2017 after a very strong average yield in Canada for 2016 that provided a much needed replenishment of our raw yellow mustard inventory. We have secured virtually all the 2016 production from our contracted growers and the plan is to now have it all picked up by the end of June or early July. A few Olds Products growers are holding a portion of the production that was not contracted. For the time being they will wait. 

At least half the 2016 total mustard acres in Canada and the USA were grown without a contract, which is normal for Saskatchewan. Given the surge in 2016 mustard production it is not surprising that spot mustard prices have retreated. A year ago at this time the market was starting to realize the potential after planting seed stocks were sold out everywhere and spot prices that were near record highs started to retreat in a big way. This rapid retreat is normal for spot mustard prices after historic highs.  Now that spot prices are at levels that are not sustainable for long term production, 2017 acres have backed off in a big way and we are back to a level in Canada and the USA that in an average year will just meet our domestic export requirements. The issue for the market will be the formidable yellow mustard stocks remaining from 2016 on farms in both Canada and the USA that will either take the spot price lower if 2017 production continues on a good course or perhaps take the spot price higher if 2017 production falters. Ag Canada has predicted a record export year for the 2016 mustard crop but given the record high USA yellow crop I believe the 2016 exports from Canada will be average at best. The current monthly export volumes from Canada to the USA suggest lower. 

Weather predictions from experts are mixed with some calling for significant heat on the Southern prairies and other predictors calling for a normal growing season. The mustard growing area for Olds Products and much of the industry stretches from Southern Alberta through Southern Saskatchewan and into Northeastern Montana and Northwestern North Dakota , is not expected to receive any major weather variations this year but all we really know is that the 2017 mustard crop is off to a good start.

I look forward to the period following the mustard plant flowering in late July and plan to do some crop touring/inspections through the mustard growing areas at that time. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,

Walter

March 20, 2017

Spot prices for mustard, with the exception of brown mustard which remains level with last year’s contract prices, continue at price levels near 2015 lows. That 2015 price dip did not last long.  In response, mustard acres and production in Canada dropped from 2014 levels by 30%. In 2016, just as in 2014, a price increase led to a massive 50% increase in acres in Canada. Suprisingly, in 2016 USA production tripled from the previous year. USA production did not change in 2014.  

New growers – or at least long time absent mustard growers in North Dakota – were responsible for most of the staggering 300% increase of yellow mustard produced in the USA to 44,000 MT. It is very reasonable to assume that mustard acres in Canada and the USA will drop significantly in 2017 in response to lower prices, significant carryforward supplies and the improved canola prices in 2017.  Of course, there is still time for late adjustments to grower seeding intentions depending on market forces. Stocks/use ratio as of July 31, 2017 will increase to over 60% in Canada/USA and hit a nearly 10 year high after the near zero position as of the same date last year.

It is important to note that, despite the significant build up in mustard stocks in 2016, there is more to be heard from those acres that were not harvested due to a cool, wet harvest month in October and the effect of mustard being harvested at moisture levels over 9.5%.  When the moisture content is that high it can produce heat while in storage causing the interior seed color to turn brown or black due to combustion.   The sensitivity for heated mustard  is very low at 0.1% maximum in a No.1 Grade.

Olds Products has completed its 2017 contracting program for both regular and organic mustard with our past growers. Our grower turnover of 5% this year was mainly with organic growers. Mustard acres for Olds in 2017 are down slightly in the USA due to some better options with canola for a few growers, but similar to 2016 in Canada.

Helix-treated certified Andante and Centennial seed was shipped to Olds growers in Canada in last two weeks. The balance of our certified planting seed will be shipped to Canadian growers and USA growers in early April.

Severe winter weather in the past four months has slowed down the pace of Old’s grower pick-ups in Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana, but our YTD pace still looks good.  We plan to clean-out our contract growers entirely by the end of July, if they so choose. Alberta has maintained a very consistent weekly grower pick-up since last August.  If you are a contract grower and have not already done so, please let me know if you would like a bid for the 2016 production amount in excess of your contracted amount.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you,

Walter

 

January 9, 2017

2016 has come and gone and has left an excellent supply mustard to move off farm in 2017 and that is always a good thing for Olds Products. Winter’s cold grip arrived in early December and along with large amounts of snow it has made loading trucks off farm more difficult. Fortunately, we got off to fast start from August to November with our farm pick-ups and could soon be at the end of shipping the contracted portion of total grower production. As mentioned in previous market reports, and has been the case in all previous years since we have contracted directly with growers, it is our goal to buy all the 2016 production (including extra or over-production) produced by our contact growers. Please let me know if you would like a bid and I will provide one for your additional production. Currently other spot yellow bids in the market are well below 2017 replacement values suggesting they will have to move up when earnest new crop prices are out. But brown bids are close to 2017 replacement values suggesting some customers or end users are short old crop. 

In Canada, above average yields and increased mustard acres in 2016 contributed to an increase of the expected stocks/use ratio as determined by Ag Canada.  At the end of the crop year, 31-July-2017, the forecast is 20% from a sold-out position as of 31-July-2016. It should be noted that Ag Canada increased the 2017 estimated exports to Europe by well over 20,000 MT as acres in Ukraine and Russia were lower in 2016 and yellow mustard values there have increased, but that has not yet borne out.  If it does not then the stocks/use ratio at the end of July will be more onerous at 30-35%.  

In 2016 average yields of 800 lbs/acre in North Dakota and Montana were below Canadian yields of 1000 lbs/acre in 2016 due mainly to more hail storms. A 20% stocks/use ratio represents 2-3 months’ supply.  Therefore, 2017 will require similar acreage levels to 2016 (approx. 500,000 acres in Canada and 50,000 acres in the USA) in order to maintain the 20% ratio. 2016 mustard acres surged in late spring after there was no rally in canola prices from near-record lows in 2015. Significantly higher 2016 contract prices for yellow and oriental mustard were largely determined by high spot prices for yellow mustard, no on-farm mustard stocks, and the record high prices offered for 2016 lentil production.

In 2017, the direct competition to maintain 500,000 mustard acres will be canola as lentil prices have decreased and the spot price for mustard has significantly retreated from 2016 levels. Canola price levels increased in Canada/USA in November and have since retreated off the highs. In short I believe contract mustard prices for 2017 will be lower than 2016, but increasing canola yields versus static mustard yields will keep 2017 contract prices very honest. 

It is our plan to start our contracting program in the last two weeks of January when we hope to be more certain pricing will work for all past growers. Olds Products has an excellent supply of certified mustard to offer and will again have seed treatment options.  I look forward to your questions or comments.

Thank you,

Walter

Fitzpatrick Bros. News

REFLECTIONS (TM) Holoprismatic Printing for Stunning Labels!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Fitzpatrick Bros. introduces REFLECTIONS(TM) holoprismatic imprint technique.  This unique imprint option produces a holographic effect on printed labels at 40% less than the cost of traditional holographic printing. 

Add this exciting effect to your Own Brand product to create an image that really pops off the label!