Economic Development Regina has released a report looking at spring seeding in Saskatchewan, calling it the province's largest megaproject.
In their report, they say that producers will spend around $11 billion dollars during the seeding season.
That includes the cost of seed, fertilizer, maintenance, and labour.
President and CEO Chris Lane says they were looking to quantify just how big farming was in Saskatchewan.
"We really wanted to have a look at just the size, scope, and scale of not only agriculture as a whole in Saskatchewan but specifically the spring seeding that is just wrapping up and we know that because it's a big deal. We see it from the highway as we drive around and you know many of us know farmers are out in the field and how busy it is, but we really wanted to try to put a number to this and help people understand just how big of a deal this is to the provincial economy.”
"When we started crunching the numbers on spring seeding alone, we were a little bit surprised at the size of that number, $11 billion being spent on just putting the 2023 crop into the ground. That's astounding because that's only the start of the process around agriculture value in Saskatchewan and alone to see that number and understand its scope It really does reinforce how valuable farmers, agriculture and the industry is to this province.”
They also looked at how costs had increased over the years for farmers.
"We wanted to understand sort of the input cost structure over time. Asking is that being factored into by firms and financing to make sure that everything from seed to seed treatment to farm fuel is being calculated and farm labour as well, and clearly it's going up, everything is going up over time and farming is no different.”
Lane says we have seen high commodity prices as well which partially blunts the rising cost.
The industry helps more than just producers, as part of the report details some of the other sectors established to support agriculture.
"Especially when we look at centres like Regina that you know well, obviously there's not a lot of farming going on directly in the Regina city limits. But so much of this city's economy is built around servicing and supporting agriculture, whether that's farm machinery manufacturers or dealers or farm financing, banking, lending, or insurance. The support system and ecosystem around agriculture is really a driving force that makes Regina a global force in agriculture.”
The report also looks at a few other topics in agriculture which could become issues in the future.
“It's important to us to have a pretty good understanding of what the economic impact of that industry is as a whole. I think in the report, you'll find that we identify a couple of issues that are probably worthy of a discussion about how are we set up against our global competitors in terms of policy, in terms of an immigration system that is ready to attract agriculture labour and talent, and about the future of fuel and input prices. All of these things are identified in the report as issues that we should be aware of to make sure that we can grow the industry and obviously grow Regina along with it.”
You can read Economic Development Regina's report here.