Lentils have the potential to be a top money earner for the upcoming growing season while flax, soybeans and fababeans are at the bottom of the list. The ranking comes from a recent profitability analysis conducted by Rayglen Commodities based in Saskatoon.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture prepares a Crop Planning Guide that’s released in early January. However, it’s based on price projections from December and quite a bit has changed since then.
Rayglen Commodities does a similar analysis and they recently updated their crop prices. For instance, rather than the $16 a bushel canola price assumed by Sask Agriculture, Rayglen is using a new crop canola price assumption of $13 a bushel.
Rayglen assumes typical yields and subtracts both variable and overhead costs to determine profit per acre for each crop. The crops are ranked according to their return on investment.
Small green lentils come out at the top of the heap with large green lentils a close second. Somewhat surprisingly, red lentils also rank highly and hold the number 3 spot. The new crop assumed price for red lentils is 33 cents a pound, much less than the 56 cents a pound assumed for large green lentils. However, red lentils yield a bit better and have somewhat lower expenses.
No. 4 in profitability goes to oriental mustard. Yellow mustard is in the No. 6 spot. Brown mustard lags way behind at No. 11 due to a much lower price assumption. The market for brown is struggling.
No. 5 for return on investment is large kabuli chickpeas. Seventh place goes to oats, 8th is durum wheat with an $11 a bushel price assumption. 9th place goes to green peas, 10th is Canary seed and as mentioned brown mustard is 11th.
Malting barley is 12th while canola is 13th on the list. In past years, canola has often been one of the most profitable crops, but with a price assumption of $13 a bushel, it barely generates a positive return in the Rayglen analysis.
Yellow peas in 14th place, with an assumed price of $10 a bushel, pencil out at a small loss. 15th place is CPS or feed wheat, 16th is feed barley, 17th is spring wheat with an assumed price of $7.50 a bushel. 18th place goes to flax, 19th is soybeans and the biggest loss at No. 20 is fababeans.