Pulse weekly outlook: Slight increase in lentil acres likely

Increase 'won't be as big as people think'

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MarketsFarm — Lentil acres are likely to increase slightly when farmers take to planting this spring, according to Marlene Boersch of Mercantile Consulting Venture Inc. in Winnipeg.

The pulse industry will get a better idea of what will be going into the ground over the coming weeks on April 27, when Statistics Canada releases its first survey-based planting projections for the year.

“The price signals are very positive [for lentils]. They are also very positive for canola and some of the other major crops,” she said, suggesting there’s strong competition among the crops to be planted.

Also, “the rotational bind is much tighter than it used to be.”

Last month, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) projected about 4.2 million acres of lentils to be planted in 2021, down a little bit from the estimated 4.23 million to have been seeded in 2020. However to Boersch, AAFC’s projections went the wrong way.

“The shift [upward] won’t be as big as people think,” she added.

For the coming crop year, AAFC forecast production to dip from 2.87 million tonnes of lentils in 2020-21, to 2.7 million. The department also called for exports to ease, from 2.7 million tonnes to 2.5 million, but ending stocks are to hold for both marketing years at 150,000 tonnes.

While most lentil prices on the Prairies have seen pretty good gains over the past 12 months, they have remained steady during the last week, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Depending on the size, Laird lentils were 22-36.5 cents/lb., with Estons at 22-34 cents; Richleas, 23-35 cents; Crimsons, 23 to 30; and French greens, 28-30.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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Glen Hallick - MarketsFarm

Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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