Latest articles

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

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

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

Grain marketing in the age of global politics

The world market picture this fall is very different from last November

Nine months from the start of 2019, our market prospects have changed. It’s easy to say that back in November of 2018, we should have priced more grain for delivery this fall. Last November, markets were holding steady at decent levels, buyer demand was good and grain quality was decent. There was nothing to suggest […] Read more

World grain production, weather markets and trade disputes

Production and weather concerns and bullish, but trade patterns are not on our side

In April the International Grains Council (ICG) estimated world grain production in 2019-20 would increase two per cent over last year to 2.18 billion tonnes. Their estimate for total consumption (food, feed and industrial use) is 2.20 billion tonnes. The math suggests that demand will outpace production, meaning the supply carried forward will be drawn down for a third consecutive year. The ICG estimates world carry out […] Read more

Oilseed markets in the world of trade disputes

A look at the oilseed export basics sheds light on the potential impact of trade disputes

What’s driving world oilseed markets? Who are the players, and where does Canadian canola fit in? To consider this, I’ll focus on soya beans rather than oil or meal, to provide a simple comparison to bulk canola. I’ll start with world soya bean exporters and importers, then compare soya beans to canola. Global exports of […] Read more

Know your markets: Wheat

Knowing the global buyers and sellers can help you target the best times to sell

Knowing the key drivers for world markets can help you make better marketing decisions. In this column, we’ll look at the fundamentals of the world wheat market. First, the sellers. Among continents, Europe generated over half of 2018’s worldwide wheat exports, shipping $US21.5 billion worth of wheat, or 54 per cent of the global total. […] Read more

The Index of Wheat on The Screen.

What moves grain futures and cash markets?

Fundamentals and futures are the underlying structure. Then add on speculators

In the next few columns, I’ll review what makes futures and cash grain markets move. I’ll touch on fundamentals, futures markets, technical and speculation. Then I’ll throw in some tariff and trade issues and add a little political mayhem, in hopes of trying to make sense of how markets act and react. Market action starts […] Read more

Stuck in the middle of two

Canadian farmers face the fallout of trade disputes between China and the U.S.

Many international events have taken place in the past year, such as the renegotiation of NAFTA, Trump imposing tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and tariffs on Chinese imports, the arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou for extradition to the U.S. and most recently China cancelling Richardson International’s import license for shipping canola […] Read more

Making your farm plans for the year

Price expectations and your risk management strategy impact your marketing plan

How is your plan for the coming year? What will you seed? How do your break-even numbers crunch out? What are new-crop pricing prospects? Should you be doing some pre-pricing to secure profits? What’s your crop risk management strategy? Starting with your initial seeding plan, pencil out your costs of production and do a break-even […] Read more