I hope your summer is going well. In general, the prospects for an average mustard yield for 2019 have improved greatly in the past month. Late spring rains came to most of the mustard growing areas in Canada/USA. Before that the stress from a cold, dry Spring plus flea beetle pressure was very apparent on the young mustard plants. The previous two years provided little additional rain for the soil and reserves in the sub-soil were gone. At this time, in most mustard growing areas, they have not been replenished and late July rains will make a significant difference to yields.
Seeded yellow mustard acres in the USA are at 100,000 and that compares the same with the previous year but in Canada the yellow, brown and oriental mustard acres are down roughly by 100,000 – or 20% from the previous year. This is due mainly to the lack of competitive prices for mustard compared to the previous two years when yellow and brown mustard took turns leading the pack with relatively very high spot prices.
In most of our growing areas the mustard was planted early into dry soil. Without the germinating moisture the mustard started to grow but unevenly which caused issues for weed pressure and different stages of growth. These can possibly raise quality concerns at harvest. Growers may have to wait for the later emerging mustard to catch up, and that will bring on frost concerns as the harvest window closes.
Nonetheless, a big weight has been lifted, and although previous year grower stocks at July 31 are above average, they are not burdensome and could disappear quickly if new concerns arise. In addition to grower stocks, the dealers and processors should have stocks in store. These should provide coverage for their customers through this calendar year.
I will be out in the mustard fields in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana in the next two weeks where we have an even balance of contracted acres for our regular and organic requirements. It is always good to see the progress of the blooming yellow fields when near the end of the bloom the flowers turn to pods and yield prospects are better determined.
I will be sending harvest sample directions in August to growers and we look forward to receiving the representative samples at the Olds Products office in Pleasant Prairie, WI.
We plan to send to send our mustard packs to the 2019 contract growers in the next few weeks and hopefully your burgers and hot dogs will have the cover they deserve this summer!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.