New local markets coming for pea crops
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