Latest articles


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


Selling your spring-threshed grain

Brian Wittal has talked to potential buyers of those cereal crops still out in the field

Another warm spell has some producers who face the unenviable task of spring combining calling to ask what they’ll be able to do with the grain they harvest in the spring. Farmers are wondering where they can sell it and what it will be worth. Some are wondering if they should even bother trying to […] Read more



Concept of making money agriculture

Locking your crop prices in early

Some farmers are afraid to take on the risks of pricing too early in the growing season

In my experience, most farmers will not price grains six months prior to seeding because it seems too risky — they’re concerned about delivery risk. How can you reduce or eliminate delivery risk so that, if prices are profitable early in the year, you’re not afraid to price some or most of your crop and […] Read more


Roller coaster ride ahead in the markets

World currency and market changes are going to come at us fast in 2017

On January 23, 2017, the headline read, “Trump ends U.S. ties to TTP.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise. He said that was one of the first actions he would take as president. Now we know he was serious, and he’s a man of his word, which is scary because of his many other statements. […] Read more