Lentil sales in Western Canada are at a standstill as buyers aren't willing to pay what farmers want and producers are willing to wait until they are, industry officials said.
"Farmers are fine with putting their lentils in the bin right now and just waiting it out," said Shawn Madsen, operations manager with Southland Pulse at Estevan, Sask. "They'll sell other commodities for cash flow for the time being."
Madsen said producers will sell peas and cereals in order to keep the cash flowing because they are happy with the prices that are being offered for those crops.
Lentil prices haven't moved much in the past month because of the light amount of trade happening in the market, Madsen said.
Laird (large green) No. 1 quality lentil cash bids delivered to the elevator ranged from 20 to 24 cents per pound, while Laird No. 2 quality cash bids ranged from 17.5 to 21 cents per pound as of Aug. 16, according to data from Prairie Ag Hotwire.
Current prices are little changed from a month ago when Laird No. 1 quality lentils sold for 20 to 22.5 cents per pound and Laird No. 2 quality lentil prices ranged from 17 to 20 cents per pound.
Madsen said producers have reported a wide variety of lentil qualities so far this year. Laird lentils are graded by either No. 1, 2, X3 or 3 quality.
"Quality-wise I'd say that the crop looks decent," he said. "There's some No. 1 quality, but lots of No. 2 quality and I haven't seen anything grading worse than a No. 2 so far."
The lentil harvest in Western Canada has been underway for the past two weeks, and some producers have already begun to report yields.
Madsen said farmers have been seeing fairly average yields that range between 20 and 30 bushels per acre.
"The showers were so spotty this year. So, places that ended up getting enough moisture got a little better yield and the ones that missed it are just down a little," Madsen said.
-- Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.