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farm equipment seeding

Getting info and seeding early

It is the time of year to gather knowledge and make your plans for the coming season

January is the busiest month of the year for ag trade shows, conferences, updates and industry meetings. You could spend the entire month traveling across the Prairies attending sessions. I attended the inaugural Cereals Innovation Symposium in Red Deer, Alta., hosted by the Alberta Wheat Commission, and heard some very interesting speakers. Scientists talked about […] Read more


Grain marketing lessons learned the hard way

Events in 2017 gave us many opportunities to make grain marketing mistakes

I know some of you living in Alberta where the boom and bust cycle of the oil and gas industry is all too common will have seen a bumper sticker on an oilfield worker’s truck that says, “Lord, give me one more chance at another oil boom and I promise I won’t piss it all […] Read more



Life after the de-listing of the ICE futures

The on-farm impact of the de-listing of milling wheat, durum and barley contracts

In the last issue I wrote about the de-listing of the ICE milling wheat, durum and barley future and options contracts. These contracts were introduced in 2012, then de-listed on October 26, 2017. Now, let’s address three reasons why you should care. Reason 1: The loss of these contracts gives you one less tool to […] Read more


Finding the price in the new age

With delisted futures contracts, who’s responsible for price discovery?

Over the past five years there have been major changes to the Prairie grain marketing landscape that have — or should have — changed the way you market your grain. The biggest change, and no doubt the catalyst for many of the changes since, was the removal of the monopoly marketing powers of the Canadian […] Read more



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