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Rising costs hurting Saskatchewan farmers

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan farmers feeling the pressure of high gas prices' Saskatchewan farmers feeling the pressure of high gas prices
With gas prices over the $2 mark, the effects on farmers across Saskatchewan is steep. Farmers say these costs are rising almost every week. Kayla Guerrette has more – Jun 8, 2022

It’s business as usual for farmer Shawn Colborn — just at a much higher cost.

“If I were to look at something like nitrogen fertilizer, a year ago it was around $450 dollars a ton,” said Shawn Colborn, Saskatchewan Farmer. “If I were to go buy it today, it would be about $1200 a ton for this years crop.”

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Add in higher gas prices to run the equipment and its even tougher.

“This time last year we were around 0.89 cents a litre for diesel,” said Colborn. “Right now were at $1.65 and I just received a phone call from our local supplier that it’s going up another two cents tomorrow.”

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Colborn said both these increases represent major pressures. He estimates he needs on average about 800 tons of fertilizer and about 130 thousand tons of diesel every year. These two expenses alone will cost Colborn almost a million dollars more to run his farm this year. But, he not alone, farmers across the province are feeling the same pressures.

Producer of cows or grain don’t have a lot of choice, said Steven Donald, District One Director at Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “It’s not like we can take our commodity to the elevator and demand ‘this is what I need to make a living’.”

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Donald said high commodity prices, like canola, helps offset the costs. But, he adds many farmers are making decisions about how often they run their equipment. And many, like Colborn, are also still in the midst of coming back from the drought.

“We don’t know if (we’ll have) enough moisture … to have enough production to cover off our contracts,” said Colborn. “So, it’s hard for us as growers right now.”

That will driving up food prices even more.

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