Strong canola prices expected to prompt more planting
Farmers are expected to grow more canola this year given the increase in prices, the chair of the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission says.
The price for canola has shot up from $6 per bushel to $14 per bushel in the past year, and is expected to rise even higher, said Kelvin Meadows, who grows canola on his Moose Jaw-area farm.
But strong prices do not guarantee profit, Meadows told CBC News.
"As any farmer will tell you, it doesn't matter what the price is until the crop is in the bin, because if you don't have anything to sell, whether it's $5 or $20 a bushel, it matters not," Meadows said.
"So everybody is going to be pretty nervous, through the growing season, to try and get a crop into the bin so they can actually take advantage of these prices."
Weather is always a factor for prairie farmers, and this year looks like it could be a dry summer, Saskatoon commodity analyst Larry Weber said.
"If you take a look at a drought map in Saskatchewan today, you are going 'this is not looking good,'" Weber said. "These record high prices don't mean a thing if you can't grow a crop."
But Greg Kostal, an agricultural consultant in Winnipeg, is encouraging farmers to grow canola because the market looks good.
"When I look at crops that have potential, I like the ones that have a theme associated with strong Asian food demand," he said.
The demand for canola oil, especially in China, will continue to increase, he said.