For what it’s worth, here is my seeding / marketing plan for the upcoming growing season.
Kabuli chickpeas are a given for me after excellent returns in 2011. I’ve locked in a price of 35 cents a pound for some new crop production. That’s far less than the prices received for last year’s crop, but it’s not bad historically.
On canola, I’ve decided to go with Nexera in the hope that the health premium, favourable basis and on-farm pickup will more than offset any yield drag.
I’m going with a new variety of large green lentils, CDC Impower, a Clearfield variety that should retain its colour better than CDC Improve, which I grew in 2011.
I’m growing a brand new crop this year – Brassica carinata, also known as Ethiopian mustard. A company called Agrisoma is contracting with a limited number of producers to grow some product for testing. Carinata is well suited to biojet fuel production because of the carbon chain length of its oil. The Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission has invested research money into carinata as an industrial oilseed crop.
The hardest choice for spring seeding was what cereal crop to go with. Should it be durum, malting barley or canaryseed? In the end, I’ve opted for canaryseed and have some locked into a new crop contract at 25 cents a pound.
I am a little sorry not to be growing wheat, durum or barley in the new marketing environment, but I’ll watch from the sidelines this year.
I’m Kevin Hursh.