The rising cost of farm inputs is the reason it cost producers more to put the 2021 crop in, and farmers want to know why?

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is calling on the House of Common's Standing Committee on Agriculture to investigate the rising costs of farm inputs.

APAS President Ian Boxall says stats show that 2021 was the most expensive year ever for Saskatchewan farmers.

"Last year's crop cost us around $11.5 billion dollars to put in, that's 11 per cent higher than the previous year. It is the highest increase that we have seen in input pricing since 2012. So, it's substantial what we paid to grow last year's crop. "

While the numbers are based in Saskatchewan, similar numbers could likely be found in Manitoba and Alberta.

APAS reports that in 2021, Saskatchewan farmers spent $2.67 billion on fertilizer purchases alone, and exceeded the previous year’s fertilizer purchases by 30%.  Since 2019, glyphosate has increased 62%, fuel is up 52%, and the price for urea increased 112% since May 2019 while anhydrous ammonia is up 113%. 

Boxall says during their fall district meetings they heard concern over the lack of price transparency and supply chain certainty for critical farm inputs like fertilizer, fuel, seed and chemicals.

He notes since 2019 inflation has been 14 per cent yet fertilizer has gone up 129 per cent.

"I guess our question is why? What is driving these increases? What is the reason for this, when the price of oil was $140 a barrel the price of fuel was $1. Now we hover around the $80 a barrel mark for oil, and fuel is $2 a litre. Why? That's what we're asking. What is driving these costs to make these the most expensive crops we've ever grown?"

Boxall points out that the increase in costs is offset this year because commodity prices are strong, but what about going forward. 

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture is scheduled to begin studying retail food pricing later this fall and into 2023.

APAS would like to see the committee expand their focus to include the factors driving cost increases for fertilizer, fuel, and other critical farm inputs.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with APAS President Ian Boxall click on the link below.