We will have having a later harvest this year. This June was cool and dry; delaying the planting process. Due to this delay in June we are still two to three weeks from the start of the general mustard harvest in Canada and USA. However, a few Olds contract growers did start their mustard harvest this week and I expect a few more will start next week. Since we are having a late harvest the frost and damage risk is greater. It is very important that we have good weather in August and September to help us bring the mustard under cover as quickly as possible.
With the timely rains in June the crop I saw in late July had great potential for above average yields in Southwest Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana. In the second half of June most of these areas saw 3”-5” inches of rain. With the fields so thick with crop it was hard to walk through we are hoping for 1,000 pounds per acre of yellow mustard. This year will be compare able to the great year we had in 2016, but since 2019 had a later start this crop season it is far more impressive. Sadly, two of our largest yellow mustard growers were hit by hail storms in the past 2 weeks. We are hoping with the promising yields this will not be an issue.
Most fields looked clean from weeds but it was clear to see that many fields have different stages of growth due to the uneven germination .In these cases growers will usually wait for the latter stage to catch up before harvesting all at the same time.
Alberta had a timely start this spring but because of severe frost in May a lot of farmers had to re-seed. The frost around May 20th killed most newly emerged mustard. Moisture conditions since then have been below average in Alberta and yield prospects for yellow are 700 pounds per acre at best.
Organic mustard fields are also facing a later harvest projected for mid-September. The organic fields were also affected by the cool and dry conditions. This caused farmers to plant later while waiting for rains to add moisture to the soil. Fields in Saskatchewan around Saskatoon and Regina are looking much better than our organic acres in Manitoba where weeds have taken over the mustard.
Spot prices have moved very little in the past few months. This is not unusual given the higher carryforward balances for all mustard types from 2018. It will be interesting to see 2019 mustard harvest results in other parts of Saskatchewan where conditions were dry until it was almost too late to seed in June.
To our 2019 contract growers: After your Olds contracted mustard harvest is complete please send me a text, email or call with the quantity of the harvested. Also, please advise how many samples you would like to send us given possible different qualities you have binned separately. I will provide you with sample instructions for mailing.