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Alberta Pea Crop Hard Hit by Drought; Lentils Better

Early results from the Alberta pulse harvest suggest the pea crop has taken it on the chin from drought, while lentils managed to hold up a bit better.

“Yellow and Green peas have probably taken the brunt of the heat. Yield wise, from what I’ve heard in the south, they weren’t expecting much and then there was even disappointment on that,” said Robert Semeniuk, chair of the Alberta Pulse Growers. “What they were hoping they would get, they didn’t.

“I’m hearing 50 to 60% (of a normal yield) on Green peas (in central Alberta).”

Last year, the average Alberta pea yield came in at 41.5 bu/acre, up from 35.5 bu in 2019 and the highest since 46.1 in 2016.

On the other hand, the lentil crop is Alberta is showing more promise.

“(Lentils) like the heat more. From the few numbers I’ve heard, about a 30% reduction from normal. Fava beans are probably going to be in that 50 to 60% of normal also. If we end up with 60% of average, that’s probably where we’ll fall,” Semeniuk said.

The average lentil yield in Alberta last year was 1,949 lbs/acre, way up from 988 the previous and also the highest since 2016.

The pea harvest is well advanced in the southern part of the province, Semeniuk said, with areas south of Calgary already almost finished. Central areas are just getting underway, he said, and the more northern areas will likely start harvest next week.

“I’m hoping every farmer in Alberta gets good weather and they can pull off every bushel they can possibly scavenge,” he added.

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