Bringing Innovation and Opportunity to Saskatchewan
Väderstad Industries has been a leading producer of agricultural machinery for decades. The driving force behind that sustained success is the Saskatchewan manufacturer’s ability to develop new technology that has positioned Väderstad as a world leader in innovation.
The evolution of Väderstad’s Seed Hawk air seeder is the perfect example of how that has led to lower costs and greater yields for producers. In 2021, the company unveiled new updates to Seed Hawk’s proprietary section control technology, called SCTx, which enables the air seeder to operate more efficiently.
“SCTx is an exciting development that takes our existing system to the next level of performance and accuracy. Our customers wanted a highly functional system, that required less operator input, making the machine as user friendly as possible. That’s what we have delivered with SCTx”, said Nigel Jones, Vice President OtD North America.
SCTx uses an additional GPS receiver to enhance system capabilities allowing for more complex maneuvers in the field, the addition of turn compensation, and more capability to properly predict where the seeder’s drill should turn on and off. With the increased precision comes better seed and fertilizer placement, more uniform plant stands resulting in even maturity, and increased yields and better soil structure.
“Since its inception, Väderstad has been at the forefront of farming innovations, on multiple occasions doubling the speed or efficiency of traditional seeding, planting, and tillage operations,” said Jones.
Väderstad’s global presence is significant, with representation in over 40 countries and on all continents. The company has manufacturing facilities located in Sweden, Saskatchewan, and more recently, in North Dakota to supply the global distribution network.
Väderstad Industries is located in Langbank, Saskatchewan, a small town in the southeast corner near the Manitoba border. That is where the Seed Hawk air seeders have been designed and manufactured for the last 30 years. The seeders are exported mainly to buyers in Western Canada, the United States and Australia. The company prides itself on being a major supporter of local initiatives, not just in the surrounding communities, but in all areas of Canada where it operates.
Väderstad is driven by a strong commitment to investing with purpose, in their people and in the communities in which they operate, said Jones. The company focuses on creating a work environment that empowers creativity and collaboration, so employees can focus on what they do best and are most passionate about: creating innovative solutions to improve agriculture, manufacturing and support for their customers.
“Since 1992, Väderstad has grown steadily in Canada, and we now employ 250 people, 200 of those at our manufacturing facility in Langbank, SK. Being a remote, rural location, we rely heavily on the surrounding communities for our employees. With a vision of being an employer of choice, we are a multi-year recipient of the Saskatchewan Top Employer Award,” said Jones.
Väderstad, now into its third generation of ownership, also takes pride in its roots. It started as a small family business in the early 1960s and that ideal is still the heart and soul of the company. The company’s history is characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to improve and modernize farming, which is still being used to develop business plans and to ensure profitable growth.
It’s hardly surprising that a company valuing its agricultural heritage and focused on developing efficient farming machinery and methods would find a home in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is an agricultural powerhouse that specializes in manufacturing equipment for precision dryland farming. The province’s agriculture sector is a major driver of economic growth and the development of innovative agricultural technology.
Saskatchewan is fertile ground for companies like Väderstad because it offers a strong, accessible supplier base, a sophisticated local market for advanced technology equipment, a central North American hub for easy transportation, a skilled and productive workforce, and lower operational costs.
Saskatchewan also offers competitive incentives and tax credits for companies that choose to manufacture in the province. Väderstad has used the Manufacturing and Processing tax credit to invest in capital expenditures and the Saskatchewan Job Grant for training new and existing employees.
“Saskatchewan is the birthplace of numerous innovative dryland farming practices and provides a business-friendly environment for manufacturing. As a result, we will continue to invest in our operations, and remain committed to a long-term presence in the province,” said Jones.
In 2021, Väderstad celebrated a major milestone when it built its 5,000th Seed Hawk air seeder in Saskatchewan. With its continued focus on developing new technology to help farmers and their crops, the innovative company expects more production milestones are on the horizon.