Jan. 19, 2009, Regina, Sask. — A new Farm Credit Canada (FCC) report suggests that now is the right time for those involved in Canadian agriculture to examine their energy needs and options for the future.
FCC’s Knowledge Insider says that even through there have been recent drops in oil prices, (from $147 U.S. per barrel in July 2008 to under $40 U.S. per barrel at the end of 2008), higher energy costs are anticipated in the longer term.
“Throughout the world, energy supplies that are inexpensive, safe and easy to recover are increasingly scarce,” says Brenda Frank, senior director of Strategy and Business Insight at FCC. “Many experts agree that we are at or near peak oil production. These factors suggest that higher energy prices will likely return.”
Frank says today’s oil and gas prices are an opportunity for farm and agribusinesses operators to re-evaluate their current energy practices and plan how they will manage their energy needs in the future.
“This temporary respite from higher energy costs offers a window for agriculture producers and businesses to develop a transition plan that will help them succeed in the energy environment of the future,” explains Frank. “We believe Canadian agriculture is well-positioned to take advantage of new and alternative energy sources and conservation methods. We offer several examples in our report.”
Knowledge Insider looks at energy through the eyes of Canadian agriculture and highlights short and long-term trends that will impact oil price, supply and demand. Topics covered include world energy supply, growing demand, particularly in emerging economies, energy exploration, refinery construction, weather, speculation, forward-contracting and quotas established by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Frank says agriculture is uniquely positioned to influence a sustainable energy future.
“Whether growing crops for biofuels, using rural land for wind and solar installations or simply having easy access to waste materials for biogas, producers and industry entrepreneurs understand the conversion of energy from biomass,” she adds.
FCC’s semi-annual Knowledge Insider also offers practical tips and tools to help producers develop their long-term plans in the context of our energy future. Download a copy at www.fcc-fac.ca in the Learning Centre.
Operating out of 100 offices located primarily in rural Canada, FCC has a healthy portfolio of more than $15 billion and 15 consecutive years of portfolio growth.