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Alberta and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Establish Faba Bean Feed Benchmark for an Expanding Crop (PCN Fall 2015) OCT 1 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

The Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) have expanded their Feed Benchmark reporting to include feed ingredient comparisons for faba beans in addition to field peas.

“The decision to include faba beans in our Feed Benchmark reporting was in response to the increased interest in the crop by Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers,” explained APG Chair Allison Ammeter. “By highlighting the point at which faba beans become economically feasible as feed ingredients for swine, the Faba Bean Feed Benchmark will provide metrics for growers who are looking at selling their low tannin faba beans into feed markets.”

The benchmark values are intended for use as a pricing reference for buyers and sellers of feed faba beans by providing an indication of the “feeding value” of faba beans. Swine feed is used to determine the benchmark value because most of the faba beans used domestically for feed are used in swine diets.

“Growers have been paying close attention to faba beans, with a significant increase in seeded acres in the 2015 growing season,” said Tim Wiens, Chair of SPG. “Having a tool like this in place helps ensure that growers know the value of faba beans in feed application.”

The Faba Bean Feed Benchmark provides a consistent, unbiased estimate of the feeding value of low tannin faba beans in Central Alberta (Red Deer & area), Central Saskatchewan (Saskatoon & area) and Southern Manitoba (Winnipeg & area), based on the value of competing feed ingredients in swine rations. Feed faba beans trade at various differentials to the benchmark based on local supply/demand, quality differences and contract terms.

Bi-weekly, tradable prices of the major feed ingredients are collected for the three regions. These prices are then entered into a least cost feed formulation that is typical for grower-finisher swine in Western Canada. A feeding value is then derived for feed faba beans based on their nutritional characteristics and the prices of the other competing feed ingredients. The least cost feed formulation was reviewed with the assistance of Gibson Capital in consultation with the Prairie Swine Centre and Gowans Feed Consulting.

“While the market price will not always trade at the benchmark level, it will hopefully serve as an important reference point for both buyers and sellers,” explained Iebeling Kaastra, Research Director for Gibson Capital Inc. “It will also help to ensure that producers are receiving reasonable value for their product when it is sold into the feed market.”

Gowans Feed Consulting was also pleased to be involved in establishing a benchmark for feed faba beans.

“The Faba Bean Benchmark helps hog producers, feedmills, faba bean producers and marketers understand how valuable faba beans are in swine diets relative to other feed ingredients available in the market,” said Neil Campbell, General Manager of Gowans Feed Consulting, which provides the feed ingredient prices needed to calculate the benchmark. “It is very encouraging to see more acres and more producers across a wider geography planting zero tannin varieties of faba beans. More availability of faba beans across western Canada is exciting news for hog and feed producers who are becoming more familiar with including them in their rations and capturing the value of feeding them.”

The Faba Bean Feed Benchmark is posted every two weeks at and, and made available in APG’s bi-weekly e-newsletter Pulse Check and SPG’s monthly Pulse Market Report. To subscribe to Pulse Check, please email