After record year, Saskatchewan soybean acres see pull back

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WATCH: Soybean production in Saskatchewan hit record levels in 2017, however this year, farmers planted less than half the acres – Jul 26, 2018

Last year in Saskatchewan, soybean production soared, as producers planted a record amount of acres.

In terms of seeded area, Saskatchewan producers planted 240,000 acres of soybeans in 2016.

It jumped to 850,000 acres in 2017. This year, farmers planted 407,500 acres of soybeans in the province.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan farmers seed more wheat, less canola in 2018

This acreage decline is attributed to attractive wheat prices, dry conditions and burdensome world soybean supplies.

According to the province, yields for soybean were down by about 40 per cent in 2017, because of inadequate precipitation.

Gerrid Gust planted soybeans for the first time last year. The Davidson area farmer tried 600 acres of soybeans in 2017. This year, he planted 400 acres.

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“The biggest reason we started with soybeans was the opportunity for another pulse crop. It’s a crop that doesn’t require nitrogen and weed control is easy,” Gust said.

READ MORE: Soy milk is the ‘clear winner’ for plant-based milk alternatives: study

Carl Potts, the executive director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Association, said there’s strong growth opportunities for soybeans in the province.

“In 2017, farmers in Saskatchewan more than tripled acres for soybeans,” Potts said.

“Each year, there’s new varieties coming out that are shorter season, a little bit better adapted here. I think as varieties improve, we’ll continue to see more and more acres,” Potts said.

Soy Canada said the country’s soybean prices are tied to the Chicago futures market, which has seen a substantial decrease the past two months, following recent trade tensions between the United States and China.

“Our producers are feeling a major decrease in the price they’re being offered, so for us, it’s a loss,” Soy Canada’s executive director Ron Davidson said.

READ MORE: China responds to Trump tariffs, hikes import duties on American goods

“All of our production is being impacted. We may have a chance to export a little bit more, at a little bit higher price to China, but that’s only 2 million tonnes total, out of our 7.7 million tonne production,” Davidson said.

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In 2017, Canada exported five million tonnes of soybeans to 71 countries, according to Davidson.

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