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Throughout the winter, we took the opportunity to engage with many growers at various meetings and events around the province. Growers are facing many challenges heading into the 2024 growing season including significant dryness in some areas, high costs of production, and weaker prices for some major crops. We know that these factors are placing pressure on growers’ expected margins for 2024. While prices of some major crops are significantly lower since last growing season, most pulse prices have held up fairly well. Prices for green lentils, green peas, and chickpeas have been particularly strong. In addition, India has come back to the market for pea imports after a hiatus since 2017, which has given some support to yellow pea prices since December 2023. Current estimates are that India could import 800,000 to 1 million tonnes of peas from December 2023 to June 2024, while import restrictions there are temporarily lifted. At the same time, Canada’s largest market for yellow peas – China – faces headwinds due to anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States on pea protein imported from China.

Strong pulse prices typically mean strong revenue for SPG. Conversely, declining price periods, like we witnessed from 2016 to 2019, normally mean sharply lower revenue for SPG. We are now in the strong revenue portion of our long-term revenue cycle, which allows us to make additional investments in high priority areas for growers such as root disease research and diversifying markets for pulses.

Since January, SPG has announced new research investments of $7.3 million, leveraging provincial and federal government and other industry funding for $30 million in new pulse research. Under the direction of SPG’s farmer-elected board of directors to invest $14 million of SPG’s accumulated surplus in targeted, high-priority research areas, our team has many new potential investments in the works. These include additional root rot research, weed management research in pulses, investing in additional research capacity, and others. Watch for additional announcements of exciting new research investments over the coming year.

We wish all growers a productive and safe 2024 growing season.

– Carl Potts, Executive Director
​Saskatchewan Pulse Growers