Latest articles

What does the harvest mean for the market?

A look at the post-harvest impact on Prairie canola, wheat and malt barley markets

By October 12, snow was already falling for the second time in two weeks and harvest was only about 80 per cent complete in the Central Alberta area. Other that than, the fall for the most part was amazing and has allowed farmers across the Prairies to get the harvest off in record time. Harvest […] Read more

grain bins

Time to re-evaluate your grain marketing plan

With the crop in the bin, should you be selling now or holding out for higher prices?

This year’s fall weather was exceptional and most harvesting was done in record time. The biggest surprise I heard from producers is that yields were well above expectations. Many said they figured the yield monitors on their combines were out to lunch when they saw the numbers! This brings a good problem: most producers, even […] Read more

Post-harvest marketing plan time

With your crop in the bin, it’s time to get to the work of grain marketing

Your location will have had a big impact to your harvest outcome this year. Weather issues stressed crops across the Prairies. Whether you had a bumper crop or a poor crop, you need to review your marketing plan. This is the critical time when prices and trends can be set for the better part of […] Read more

Wheat seeds spilling from hand, close-up

Summer fun in volatile grain markets

With markets making moves, it’s a good time to understand “basis only” contracts

Activity in both the grain futures markets and the old crop and new crop deferred delivery markets has been dynamic in recent months. Weather worries sparked futures markets dramatically higher in a short time. As the hot weather dragged on, buyers became eager to get their hands on old crop stocks, in case the new […] Read more

Soft white spring wheat.

A look back at pricing your wheat

Marketing grain is always a risky business. Here’s what could have happened

Spring seeding and combining went better than expected for the most part across the Prairies and the crops are off to a decent start. Excess rains in some regions and dryness in others has caused some concerns but overall the crop is in and growing and looking good. Weather forecasters are watching the current La […] Read more

farm equipment seeding

Review pre-signed contracts after seeding

Once your crop is in the ground, revise your marketing plan to suit 2017 conditions

Last spring I wrote about the dry spring weather and how to set up a marketing plan that would work for your farm regardless of what the weather did for the rest of the year. Now I’ll continue with that theme but with somewhat of a twist. It’s certainly not dry like it was last […] Read more

wheat and U.S. currency

Riding on the U.S. dollar rollercoaster

Swings in the price we pay for the U.S. dollar will impact profitability on your farm

Since the Board Room Bully took over in Washington in November, promising to revitalize the U.S. economy and provide more jobs and opportunities for Americans, we have seen a change in attitudes in the markets. Just after the election, we saw the U.S. dollar index jump to historic levels, based on hopes that Trump’s plans […] Read more

farmer surveys cornfield harvest

Managing your farm’s biggest risk

For long-term stability, farm transition planning is key. Take control of your biggest risk

The marketing risk management issues I usually write about are focused on improving marketing results while reducing marketing risk. I would say this falls under the category of production management. What I would like to talk about in this article comes under the category of business management: farm transition planning. You may wonder why I […] Read more

A price chart is worth a thousand words

What can we learn from a look back at this May 2017 canola futures chart?

I was looking at this May 2017 canola futures charts the other day to remind myself just how much we can learn from them. It is a lot easier to figure out the trends and patterns on a chart after they’ve happened than it is to decipher what will happen while it is happening. Cyclical […] Read more

The value of spring-threshed canola

Will it be worth salvaging and selling the canola left out in your field this winter?

Many growers across the Prairies are facing the reality of canola that’s been left out in fields over winter. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to players in the canola buying and processing industry to find out who will buy spring-threshed canola, and to learn about some of their concerns. Major grain companies […] Read more