Sask. wheat prices ‘highest ever in history of farming’

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is creating a spike in wheat prices around the world, but it could be a good sign for some Saskatchewan farmers who have left over wheat to sell.

Benchmark prices for wheat have risen 106 per cent since March 2021.

Cameron Goff is a farmer near Hanley, Sask. and he describes the fluctuating prices of wheat as “extremely volatile” over the last one to two weeks.

“I chose to sell almost all my remaining wheat when those prices had gone up to a good level but they certainly rose a dollar a bushel or more than that over the last 10 days,” Goff told CTV News.

While he didn’t capture the high prices, he says he did well. With crop insurance, Goff made 10 per cent more income this year compared to 2021.

In the 50 years he’s been in the farming industry, Goff says the price of wheat is reaching record highs.

“All prices this year at some point basically have been the highest ever in the history of farming,” he said.

“High prices are always good for farmers, maybe not so good for consumers.”

Earth Bound Bakery & Kitchen in Saskatoon is already feeling the high cost of wheat.

Owner Drew Elder says the price of a bag of flour has risen $10 per bag in the last week. The bakery goes through 18 bags of flour per week, costing him $800 more per week.

Last month, Statistics Canada reported bakery product prices rose 7.4 per cent in January, compared to 6.5 per cent the year before.

Statistics Canada says higher costs are also due to unfavorable growing conditions and supply chain disruptions.

“We’ve had to make adjustments, we try to do those adjustments so they’re not too crazy for the customer and we’re absorbing a lot,” Elder said.

The cost of a loaf of bread at his bakery has gone up 25 cents.

“It’s very much a stock market when it comes to flour, when it comes to dairy … all that adds to uncertainty so we’re always trying to find the right target price that is acceptable to the customer,” Elder said.

While some businesses are eating the cost of rising prices, Statistics Canada says it could be months before consumers feel those effects in the grocery isolate.

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