Latest articles


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



Farming can be a rough game to play

Protect yourself and your farm by making a risk management plan in advance

In the middle of September, the Prairies were hit with frost, rain and snow. If this were a sporting event and I were the referee that would be enough for me to eject Mother Nature from the game along with a two or three game suspension for an unsportsman-like conduct penalty as her actions were […] Read more


Landscape featuring a harvested grain field

Watch the grain markets this fall

Outlining some of the factors influencing post-harvest prices

Hot and dry weather across a large part of the Prairies advanced crops and brought harvest on ahead of schedule. Yields are variable, but the expectation is that we will end up with an average crop, based on 10-year average yields. Early reports of high protein up to 17 per cent in wheat has already […] Read more



A second chance for good grain prices?

Changes in world markets may give us another chance to lock in high prices

As the summer continued we saw a continuation of hot and dry weather across much of the Prairies and parts of the U.S. central growing region, not to mention other parts of the world like Australia, the EU, Russia and South America. This raised concerns of potentially tightened world supplies which pushed market values back up to the […] Read more


Weather, trade and our grain markets

Local and global events are keeping markets moving. Keep your eyes on your own work

As the calendar turned to April most of the Prairies looked like they were back in January with the snow cover and cold. Due to the La Niña weather event persisting for longer than some had predicted, portions of the Midwest and Southern U.S. remained extremely dry, while the Northern States, like the Prairies were […] Read more