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“The main window for purchasing canola seed begins in the fall (September) and carries on throughout the winter and into the early spring months (May),” says Ryan Furtas, market analyst with Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development. “Highly sought after genetic packages such as disease resistance traits, high yielding or regionally strong performing varieties tend to go quickly, so booking and purchasing early is the only way to guarantee supply for following year.”
Over the past 5 years, the 9-month canola seed price average (September to May) has increased for Alberta’s most popular canola brands. Round Up Ready (RR) increased by 84 cents to $13.41/lb and Liberty Link (LL) increased by 82 cents to $15.08/lb. RR and LL herbicide tolerant systems represent more than 95% of Alberta seeded canola acres.
Chart 1. Alberta price of canola seed (CDN$/lb) 2018 to 2022
“When looking at the annual per cent change for Alberta canola seed prices, the Liberty Link price increase amounts to 5.72% and Round Up Ready increased by 6.7% in 2022 compared to 2021. Upward annual price change (increases) for canola seed has been an ongoing trend for some time.”
Table 1. Annual per cent change for Alberta canola seed prices 2018 to 2022
|Year||Liberty Link||Round Up Ready|
Based on the average yearly price, a farmer seeding canola at 5 pounds per acre incurred a per acre seed cost of $67 to $75 depending on herbicide system. Canola seed is the second highest operating expense behind only fertilizer, which spiked higher into the $200 per canola acre range, and slightly ahead of pesticide applications that can vary, but are generally in the $45 to $50 per canola acre range for 2022.
“Strong market prices in recent years have helped support canola’s profitability as a cash crop but the seed cost portion is much higher when compared to planting cereals,” explains Furtas. “2022 will go down as the most expensive crop planted for Alberta farmers to date. Seed prices increased at a significant rate but only modestly contributed to 2022 record input costs.”
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