Mustard is one of the few crops projecting a good financial return per acre.
Markets for brown and yellow mustard are very good following a 23 per cent decline in seeded area last year. There were also lower yields due to reduced rainfall in the prime mustard growing areas of southwest Saskatchewan.
Traditional mustard growers are expected to increased seeded area, but it is more difficult for those who have not grown the crop for several years.
"Once you have grown canola on a piece of land, you are basically out of mustard production for a number of years," according to Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission. "Some say you should wait five years."
The problem is canola volunteers and there is no way to control those volunteers within a mustard crop.
"Even a small amount of canola contamination drastically reduces the grade and value of the mustard crop."
Hursh says there is a traditional base of mustard growers who don't grow canola or save a certain portion of their farm for just growing mustard.
Mustard has had a difficult time competing with canola over the last several years. Canola hybrids have generated bigger yields and financial returns.
Hursh says a brown mustard hybrid is just around the corner.
"Of course, producers will have to see a large enough yield increase from the hybrid mustard to warrant buying new seed every year as you need to do with hybrid production."
Planning for mustard hybrids is one of the topics on the agenda at the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission annual general meeting. It will be held on Thursday, January 11 at Saskatoon Prairieland Park on the final day of the Western Canadian Crop Production Show.