Latest articles


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



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