Mustard production may miss predictions

While Canadian mustard seed production is expected to increase for the 2021-22 crop year, one broker thinks it may fall short of both Statistics Canada’s planting projections and production seen in 2019-20.

“Even though (mustard seed production is) showing to be up again this year, there’s some concerns out there that maybe Statistics Canada was a little bit high on its guessed number of 358,000 acres,” said Kevin Silzer of Rayglen Commodities in Saskatoon, adding “It’s possible, not for sure, but it’s possible it might be a little high.”

Statistics Canada’s crop report survey released April 28 predicted 358,000 acres of mustard seed will be planted in Canada.

Agriculture Canada’s monthly principal field crops report released on April 20 forecasted about 395,400 acres of mustard seed to be planted.

However, those predictions would result in more mustard seed produced than the 99,000 tonnes in 2020-21. For the current crop year, 145,000 tonnes will be produced, which is 10,000 tonnes more than in 2019-20, according to Agriculture Canada.

The price of mustard has risen over the past year due to low carry-out stocks and the potential for dry conditions in the Prairies where most of Canada’s mustard seed is grown. Despite the development of more hybrid varieties to attract certain markets, mustard seed will have to compete for acres against other high-priced crops like canola.

“It’s tough to do. Historically, for mustard, the price has come up for new crop to try and challenge, but yet, the competition is still pretty stiff,” Silzer said.

Rick Mitzel, executive director of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission (Sask Mustard), expects decent production numbers but also expects growers to choose canola over mustard seed.

“I think we’ll do OK. There are always true blue mustard growers who grow it year in and year out,” he said.