Quality of western Canadian mustard 2017

Weather review

The hot and dry growing conditions in 2017 had an adverse effect on mustard development in most of the growing regions of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. The season began with good soil moisture and seeding was nearly 80% complete by the last week in May. The crop developed well in May and June because of timely rains and warmer than average temperatures but by July and August the hot, dry condition were affecting the normal development of the crop. Harvest began in mid-August and conditions were dry enough that by the first week in September was nearly 60% complete. Harvest was generally finished by the end of September. (Saskatchewan Crop Reports and Olds Products 2017 Crop Reports.

Temperature and precipitation patterns for the 2017 western Canadian growing season can be found on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s website.

Production and grade information

As shown in Table 1, mustard seed production for 2017 decreased dramatically by approximately 52% from 2016 to 121.6 thousand metric tonnes. The decrease was a result of fewer hectares seeded along with a decrease in yield. Yield was approximately 800 kilograms per hectare (Statistics Canada), which is lower than last year’s yield of 1170 kilograms per hectare and the 10-year average of 961 kilograms per hectare.

About 41% of mustard production in Saskatchewan was estimated to be yellow, 25% brown and 34% oriental according to Saskatchewan’s 2017 Specialty Crop Report (PDF, 5.57 MB). Saskatchewan accounted for 75% of western Canada’s total seeded area and nearly 78% of mustard production while Alberta accounted for most of the remaining seeded area and production (Table 1).

This year 68% of samples were graded No. 1, in contrast to 52% in 2016 and 69% for the 10-year average (2007-16). Growing and harvest conditions produced a mustard crop with some visible damage particularly in Brown mustard. In Yellow mustard, however, conspicuous admixtures from weed seeds and foreign material were major factors in lowering the grades of samples received in 2017.

Table 1: Seeded area and production for western Canadian mustardFootnote1
Region Seeded area Seeded area Production Production Mean production
2017 2016 2017 2016 2007-16
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
ManitobaFootnote2 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Saskatchewan 117.3 157.8 94.5 162.3 133.7
Alberta 38.4 54.5 27.1 73.3 41.2
Western Canada 155.7 212.3 121.6 235.6 174.9
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