GFM Network News


When outside influences drive world markets, there are a number of ways to price your grain for next year.

Risk management in a chaotic world

How should you manage your price and production risk in a year when prices are unpredictable?

Impeachment trial, Israeli/Palestinian conflict, trade disputes, passenger planes being mistakenly shot down, countrywide rail blockades and a health epidemic that’s sending shock waves through world markets. How can you keep your farm from becoming a casualty of these unpredictable events? In previous articles, I’ve discussed how improving management practices can ensure your farm is running […] Read more

Seven strategies of successful farms

Focusing on costs, risks, and your farm’s budget and financial plan

I’ve been discussing the top seven practices of successful farm management. In this article, let’s focus on the last three. No. 5 on the list is knowing your cost of production. I break costs of production out into three components: direct, variable and fixed costs. Direct costs are those expenses that have a direct impact […] Read more


It’s important that your farm management team decides what the business of farming looks like on your farm.

Taking farm management to the next level – Pt. 2

Implementing your plan is where real change comes from

In this column, I’ll walk you through the first four of the seven key practices of successful farm managers. Let’s say your family members have taken personality and risk tolerance evaluations and discussed the results. This helped you clarify why some people react the way they do when making decisions or in stressful situations. This […] Read more

Field mapping with agronomic data and yield data will help you make better cropping decisions for the coming year.

Taking farm management to the next level – Part 1

For better results: know your own decision-making style and risk tolerance level

Every year is a learning year in the agriculture sector. The trick is to take the lessons learned and turn them into actions. Your success may be production-based, profit-based, financial, or managerial — as in improving the way you monitor your farm’s performance. Or, your success may be becoming a more sustainable and safe business. […] Read more


For those of you with crops still out in the fields, it's going to be a very busy spring.

Get the train wreck of harvest 2019 back on track

Brian Wittal offers advice on planning for the next season after a hard harvest

To say 2019 was a trying year for farmers across North America is an understatement. Regardless of how your harvest ended up, in the bin or the field, it is time to get a plan in place for the coming spring. If you were fortunate enough to finish harvest, you have less to worry about, […] Read more

It's a good practice to review your farm operation at least on an annual basis.

Is farming risky business?

Take time in the new year to identify and manage all of the risks on your farm

What is risk? In its simplest form, risk is defined as the uncertainty of an outcome with potentially undesirable results. What is risk management? identifying, evaluating and understanding your risks; understanding your risk tolerance; and, mitigating possible negative impacts and benefitting from potential rewards in taking calculated risks. I recently became a member of Farm […] Read more


Don’t bet the farm with your grain marketing strategy

Taking a disciplined approach can bring more financial rewards

It must have been farmers who invented Texas Hold ’em Poker. I recently took part in a poker fun night with about 40 farmers. After playing for an hour, you see a lot of similarities between the luck of the cards and the highs and lows of farming. You start the year out in the […] Read more

If you still have a crop in the field and only provincial crop insurance coverage, there are a couple of things you may need to consider.

Managing your risk in a bad harvest year

Make sure you know your insurance details before you brave the snow to pick up that crop

With many crops left out in the field until spring, this fall is not how one would have planned, if you’d had a choice. What can you do to reduce your risk of losing more money if your grains are low quality and tough or damp or still out in the field? First, get an […] Read more


Try to protect yourself from the possibility that spreads will continue to widen out before you deliver your grain.

Tough years can mean tough discounts at the grain elevator

After a difficult harvest, growers may find large discounts for tough or moist grain

This year’s difficult harvest means you have a lot of decisions to make. Should you harvest tough or damp grain? If you do, should you dry it or sell it at a discount? This year, some grain companies are offering premiums to producers bringing in dried grain, so that they can blend it with all […] Read more

When ag commodity markets react to world events, what do you do?

Designing a farm marketing strategy in a world of chaos and change

Global events often see agricultural commodity markets react

Drone attacks, election interference, international espionage, currency manipulation, trade conflicts and economic sanctions are throwing world markets into a frenzy and becoming destabilizing factors in the world economy. When ag commodity markets react to these non-agricultural situations, what do you do? As a primary producer focusing on your costs of production, you also have to […] Read more