Quality of western Canadian mustard 2014

Weather and production review

Weather review

The 2014 growing season was a challenging year for mustard production. In spring, there were concerns during seeding time because of a delayed snow melt and persistent cool, moist conditions. Although seeding started in mid-May in some places, it was not completed until mid-June. Near favourable weather conditions during July and the first part of August allowed the crop in Alberta and Saskatchewan to advance even though the crop in these provinces was behind in normal development by up to two weeks. Harvesting was delayed by periods of cool, wet conditions and snow in some regions from mid-August until September. By the middle of September only about 30% of the mustard crop in Saskatchewan was harvested. The harvest was only completed towards the third week of October (Saskatchewan Crop Reports).

Temperature and precipitation patterns for the 2014 western Canadian growing season can be found on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's web site.

Production and grade information

As shown in Table 1, mustard seed production increased by approximately 28% from 2013 to 198.0 thousand metric tonnes. The increase was a result of more hectares seeded. Yield was approximately 1,010 kilograms per hectare (Statistics Canada), which is slightly lower than last year's yield of 1060 kilograms per hectare but above the 10-year average of 933 kilograms per hectare.

About 43% of mustard production in Saskatchewan was estimated to be yellow, 33% brown and 24% oriental (including non-specified mustard), according to Saskatchewan's 2014 Specialty Crop Report. Saskatchewan accounted for 73% of western Canada's total seeded area and nearly 70% of mustard production, while Alberta accounted for most of the remaining seeded area and production (Table 1).

73% of samples in 2014 graded No. 1, in contrast to 70% in 2013 and 72% for the 10-year mean (2004-13). Growing and harvest conditions throughout the Prairies produced a mustard crop with some visible damage. However, conspicuous admixtures from weed seeds and foreign material were major factors in lowering grades of samples.

Table 1. Seeded area and production for western Canadian mustardFootnote 1
  Seeded area Production Mean production
2014 2013 2014 2013 2004-2013
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
Manitoba n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.3
Saskatchewan 147.7 109.3 138.6 117.3 128.5
Alberta 54.6 38.5 59.4 37.2 37.0
Western Canada 202.3 147.8 198.0 154.5 165.8