Manufacturing industry looks to new products in order to survive
Published on: June 16, 2016
“Some of the best ag equipment that's manufactured comes out of Canada and much of the innovation comes from Saskatchewan,” said Leah Olson, president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada.
Olson said 2013 was a strong year for manufacturers, with the low dollar and crop commodity prices hitting them in 2014.
“The bigger manufacturers have been telling me that they're seeing 2016 as a bit softer. And so to counter that they've been investing into (research and development) and looking at what's the next product,” Olson said.
Degelman Industries, from Regina, is attending Canada's Farm Progress Show this week. The past two years have been good for the company due to new product launches.
“We've introduced some new products. Our pro-till tillage unit happens to be one of the products that Western Canada has been really accepting of and orders have been very strong for that,” said Sheldon Mohr, marketing manager for Degelman.
The company also launched the Straw Master Pro, a 120-foot-wide heavy harrow set at the Farm Progress Show this week.
“Degelman has (produced) the right product at the right time for the industry. We have grown since that period or over that period of time,” Mohr said.
Degelman is expanding to the United States, opening a manufacturing plant at Hillsborough, N.D., this summer.
Eastern Europe is a huge market for Canadian farm equipment and even with the current political unrest there, the market in Europe is still good for manufacturers.
“In Russia alone we had exported over $144 million worth of ag equipment in 2012 and in 2015 that dropped to just over $23 million,” Olson said.
Olson said Canadian manufacturers have found private sectors ways to get into the market in Europe. There are lots full of Canadian farm equipment still sitting on lots in Russia and Ukraine.
Degelman has seen its overseas markets slow down for the last two years but this year there has been a resurgence in Kazakhstan, Russia and South Africa.