A great deal of money is at stake over the grading of this year’s lentil crop. On top of the disease issues, wet harvest weather is causing bleaching and sprouting and wrinkled seed coats. Top quality product is going to be in short supply so there are large price spreads between the grades. There’s going to be some ugly looking samples and the downgrading will likely be the worst in the large green lentils. Right now, prices of around 30 cents a pound are being quoted for both No. 1 and No. 2. An Extra 3 large green lentil falls to a price of around 25 cents while a No. 3 slips all the way to around 20 cents. The difference between the top two grades and a number 3 is about 10 cents a pound – a whopping $6 a bushel. On a 25 bushel per acre lentil crop, that’s a difference of $150 an acre. On red lentils, the top two grades are being quoted in the 24 to 25 cent a pound range and that’s the quality you want to achieve because on the Extra 3 grade, price quotes are around 15 cents. On No. 3 red lentils, prices drop by a further cent or two. Every rain delay is costing lentil growers a small fortune. Note that prices will differ between the various buyers and prices are likely to change rapidly in the current environment. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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