Latest articles


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



AgriStability program changes

These changes to AgriStability could benefit farmers joining or re-joining the program

Whether you’re in the AgriStability program or considering getting into the AgriStability program, it’s important that you understand a few program changes that have been made recently. First, a quick review of how the program works. In simple terms, AgriStability calculates your profit history, based on your income and your allowable expenses (this includes expenses […] Read more


Building a crop risk management strategy

A crop risk management strategy is your plan to protect your farm from unexpected loss

What is a crop risk management strategy? It’s a fancy name for what do you do on your farm to protect yourself from production and/or revenue loss. What do you use as part of a CRMS? Crop insurance, AgriStability, hail insurance, Global Ag Risk Solutions (revenue protection insurance), Just Solutions (business interruption insurance), or maybe […] Read more



Review your last year, plan for next year

This is a good time to look at last year’s marketing plan, and do the math for next year

In my last column, I asked if you know your costs of production for every crop you grew last year. Then I asked if you ran a breakeven analysis for each crop, so you would know what prices you needed to sell at a profit. If you had done these things and stuck to a […] Read more


corn harvest

2018 was a year with potential

Most commodity prices followed the same trend in 2018, hitting their highs in May

Winter is the time to review what happened last year, and take those learnings to heart as we prepare and plan for the coming year. First, let’s look at the Canadian dollar in 2018. The dollar has a major impact on both the costs of farming and the returns on commodity sales. Currency risk needs […] Read more



The impact of 2018’s big events on agriculture

Several developments in 2018 will impact the future, and grain markets, for years to come

Many things happened in 2018 that history may eventually define as the events that influenced a major shift in the course of history or world commerce. Here are some events I think fall into that realm. Global politics The battle of words and show of force between the U.S. and North Korea over nuclear armament. […] Read more


Grain markets in the new year

A post-harvest review of market movements, and pre-pricing your 2019 crop

Some key changes pre-Christmas changed the tone of the grain markets. Dry weather in India started to impact pulse markets, pushing Canadian pulse values higher on concerns that India’s crop will not be sufficient to meet their needs. Buyers are trying to secure product before the situation gets worse and prices run even higher. Australia’s […] Read more



Watch what’s in your grain bin

Now that you've got your crop in the bin, lower your risks by keeping an eye on it

The mood at the Agri Trade show in Red Deer in early November ranged from relief that harvest was done, to disappointment that harvest wasn’t finished, or was a poor-quality crop. Meeting with colleagues, neighbours and friends at Agri Trade is a good way for many to discuss and work through harvest stress, blow off […] Read more


Handling a horrible harvest

Crunch some numbers before you handle tough and damp grain on your farm

For many farmers, an untimely month of rain and snow kept harvest at a standstill in September and October. A fall like this is a hard hit to take on any farm, especially knowing that every day you sat idle waiting to get back in the field cost you big money in lost revenue due […] Read more