A remote Canadian province luxuriates in the global supply crunch (The Economist – August 18, 2022)


Saskatchewan is enjoying wild growth in the wake of war in Europe

Gerrid gust’s great-grandfather was from near Dubno, a town that is now in western Ukraine. He settled between the two biggest towns in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon and Regina, on a plot of 160 acres which he bought for C$10. The farm is now a patchwork of properties 100 times the size which Mr Gust runs with his father and brother. Each year they harvest wheat, lentils and rapeseed.

Every planting season 23-metre-wide “drillers” shoot seed and fertiliser directly into the soil for 16 hours a day. Then it is all down to the heavens. Nearly all of Saskatchewan’s crops depend on rain rather than irrigation. Last year “was desperately dry”, says Mr Gust.

“We can’t afford another bad year.” Nor, it seems, can the world. The 15m tonnes of wheat and 20m tonnes of other crops that the province produces in a typical year will be vital to markets roiled by the war between Russia and Ukraine. So, too, will almost everything else Saskatchewan produces.

When Ukrainian immigrants first streamed into Canada at the end of the 19th century, the government of the day had a role in mind for them: to settle the vast prairies between the forests of Ontario and the Rocky Mountains.

For the rest of this article: https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2022/08/18/a-remote-canadian-province-luxuriates-in-the-global-supply-crunch