Thursday, March 05, 2015
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New Wheat Trends are Emerging

ACCORDING TO a recent study by Blacksheep Strategy Inc., a Canadian brand and research consultant, farm business practices in wheat technology are shifting.

“While it’s still early in the shift, we can definitely see some similarities between the trends emerging in wheat with those previously observed in canola,” says Russell Jeffrey, principal at Blacksheep Strategy.

In the study, “FarmShift: Wheat,” 600 wheat growers across Western Canada discussed their current and evolving practices with respect to the use of certified seed in spring wheat, as well as in selecting and purchasing wheat seed in the predominant CWRS class of wheat (hard red spring wheat).

Examples of trends that parallel earlier developments seen in the canola business include the rapid adoption of varieties with improved yield, disease or herbicide options. Also, respondents indicated that their certified seed usage is increasing and a growing portion of the market is purchasing new certified seed annually for all of their acres. 

“These shifts are occurring slowly because the value of the technology is not yet compelling enough to provoke rapid change,” adds Jeffrey.

The study confirmed that growers continue to purchase most of their wheat seed from traditional sources (seed growers) but will select a full service retailer (grain company or crop input retailer) when seeking out new technology or a specific wheat production contract.

Growers cited the following as the top five reasons for choosing a wheat seed supplier:

  • Convenient locations
  • Have the variety I want
  • Past relationships
  • Trust and confidence in production practices
  • Seed quality and purity

“As we observed in canola over the past 20 years, compelling technology will drive rapid shifts in purchase practices—whoever has the technology will get the business,” concludes Jeffrey. Julie McNabb

WOW_iconFor more information or to purchase a copy of the syndicated report, visit the Blacksheep Strategy website at



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