Downgraded peas found in early harvest reports

Reports of off colour and downgraded peas in the Viking area of central Alberta are likely not representative of pulse crops across the province.

Some early pea samples have been downgraded to No. 3 because of off colour and immaturity.

Duane Ransom, member services co-ordinator for Alberta Pulse Growers, said he is not surprised to hear of pockets of poor samples across the province, but doesn’t believe it will be the norm.

“Overall, the pea crop is shaping up to be a really good grade,” said Ransom.

Areas of the province, including Lacombe, where the rain came in “bucket fulls,” may see distressed crops, but he is expecting pea yields and grades to be average to above average.

Alberta Pulse estimates the province’s farmers planted more than one million acres of peas, 45,000 acres of dry beans, 90,000 acres of lentils, 14,000 acres of chickpeas, 500 to 600 acres of fababeans and less than 1,000 acres of soybeans this year.

Within the next two weeks, producers will get a better feeling of pulse and yield quality as harvest kicks into high gear.

“I hope our expectations come true and we have really high quality pea and pulse crops out there.”

Dan Choromiec, general manager of Providence Grain Solutions in Viking, said “the bulk” of the peas have been borderline No. 2 and 3.

“The off colour count has been a little bit high.”

He said a combination of hail, disease, moisture, immature seeds and earth tags have led to the down grading.

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