New lo­cal mar­kets com­ing for pea crops

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Opinions - By Ron Wal­ter For Agri-Mart Ex­press

In­dia’s pro­hib­i­tive im­port tar­iffs on Cana­dian peas may not be as chal­leng­ing for pea acres as thought.

Pea prices slumped as In­dia placed im­port tar­iffs of 50 per cent on Cana­dian peas fol­low­ing three suc­ces­sive good crops in In­dia.

Re­cent de­vel­op­ments in pro­cess­ing in­vest­ment will pro­vide pea grow­ers with new lo­cal mar­kets. Five pea pro­cess­ing plants in con­struc­tion or planned in Western Canada will use large vol­umes of the crop.

The Ro­quette fam­ily of France started con­struc­tion in Septem­ber on a $400 mil­lion pea pro­cess­ing plant in Portage la Prairie, Man­i­toba. The plant will use 4.6 mil­lion bushels of peas an­nu­ally to ex­tract pro­tein for pasta, bread and soups.

Ver­di­ent Foods of Vanscoy near Saska­toon has opened an or­ganic pea pro­cess­ing plant with ca­pac­ity for 5.8 mil­lion bushels of peas an­nu­ally. Ver­di­ent is backed by Os­car-win­ning Cana­dian film di­rec­tor James Cameron.

W. A. Grain and Pulse So­lu­tions of Inn- sifail, Al­berta with pro­cess­ing plants in Van­guard, Pam­brun and Pon­teix, Saskatchewan plans to build a pro­cess­ing plant.

With these three op­er­a­tors. Prairie farm­ers would have mar­kets for 25 mil­lion bushels of peas, not count­ing a Saskatchewan ethanol plant near Saska­toon that will use bar­ley and peas. Prairie Green Re­new­able En­ergy’s $325 mil­lion ethanol and power co­gen­er­a­tion plant will use five mil­lion bushels a year of peas and de­velop a sup­ply of high qual­ity meal for the live­stock feed in­dus­try. The pro­posed Moose Jaw pea pro­tein pro­cess­ing plant would need plenty of peas as well.

In Man­i­toba, pea plant­ings of 65,000 acres last year are ex­pected to bal­loon to 300,000 acres in five years to sat­isfy de­mand from pro­cess­ing plants. Cana­dian pea grow­ers har­vested just over four mil­lion acres in 2017, about 200,000 acres less than the pre­vi­ous year.

Ron Wal­ter can be reached at ron­joy@ sask­tel.net

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