GFM Network News

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

The U.S. and China trade war has upset the calm of what were seen as traditional markets in 2018.

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

If world crop conditions look good and the weather behaves, commodity buyers will likely wait to see how the crop progresses before pre-buying.

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

Top world soya bean importers in 2018.

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

If we see a weather rally in wheat futures like we saw last year in May/June, that may be a good opportunity to sell some new crop or buy options.

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

Over the years, speculation has become a critical part of commodity futures trading.

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