Crop Yield Price Expense/Ac Net/Ac
HRSW 38 5.50 210 (1)
Durum 37 9.00 210 123
Oats 82 2.75 197 29
Barley 58 3.00 207 (33)
Canary 1174 .24 202 80
Flax 23 12 205 71
Canola 31 9.20 277 8
Mustard 1069 .29 190 120
Peas 34 6.50 220 1
Lentils 1371 .25 242 101
How do returns from the various 2014 cropping options compare in Saskatchewan? Of course, it all depends upon the assumptions you use, so let me explain where the numbers come from in the table above.
The yields (expressed in bushels per acre for most crops and in pounds per acre for canaryseed, mustard and lentils) come from the province-wide estimates within the November final crop report issued by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
The most contentious numbers will be the prices. I’ve tried to express an FOB farm price for the typical grade and class of the particular commodity. On spring wheat and especially on durum, there’s a wide range in grades and prices and so an intermediate number has been used. For barley, a feed price has been assumed. On mustard, this is an average of current prices for the three different types. For peas, I’ve used the price for yellow. On lentils, the price of an X3 red has been used.
Contract prices that were available earlier in the year have not been factored into the equation. These are estimates of current cash prices for this year’s most typical grade. These numbers were put together in early November from a number of sources. Prices may have changed by the time you’re reading this. It’s also important to note that prices vary by location.
The expenses per acre come from the Crop Planning Guide published this spring by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. In most cases, the costs for the dark brown soil zone have used. These are total rotation expenses including variable and fixed costs but without any consideration for return to labour and management. Everyone’s expenses will be different, but using these published estimates provides a common denominator.
Conclusions? Anyone able to grow a decent durum crop is making a lot more money than if they had grown spring wheat. Canola is not very attractive if you only achieve average yields. Flax and mustard are interesting options to canola, but you have to wonder what will happen to prices if there’s a significant acreage increase for those crops in 2015. Feed barley is a big money loser. Peas are not profitable for many producers. Like durum, lentils are a winner this year if you were able to grow a decent crop.