GFM Network News


The articles I’ve written that stick with me the most are those that inspired you to respond to them.

What can I say, but thank you

Reflections on 12 years as a columnist

Looking back through my files as I write my final column for this publication, I discovered the first article I wrote for Grainews dates back to 2008. When you say “2008,” it doesn’t seem that long ago, but the math tells another story! It’s been 12 years of you, the readers of Grainews, taking the […] Read more

What happened to those co-op grain elevator companies? Part 3

Grain co-op history and what marked the beginning of the end of those companies

The establishment of co-op organizations came out of the realization that people needed to work together for the benefit and betterment of everyone and the ability to join together to either sell or purchase needed products at fair value to ensure a decent living and livelihood for all involved. When the First World War broke […] Read more


How grain companies are changing the numbers: Part 2

Know grain handling and cleaning charges to negotiate better prices

In my last column, I discussed how total grain production and total grain exports have not increased dramatically over the last five years. So why are grain companies building new facilities over this same time period? Grain handling is a volume and numbers business. If grain companies don’t handle the volume, they need to “change […] Read more

New grain elevator builds over the past five years, why? Part I

Number crunches tell an interesting story of new facilities on the Prairies

For curiosity, I went onto the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) website and looked up the number of primary elevators by province on the Prairies back to 2012. I found the results interesting. The overall capacity continued to grow even during the initial number decline, which tells me that new, larger facilities were being built while […] Read more


When outside influences drive world markets, there are a number of ways to price your grain for next year.

Risk management in a chaotic world

How should you manage your price and production risk in a year when prices are unpredictable?

Impeachment trial, Israeli/Palestinian conflict, trade disputes, passenger planes being mistakenly shot down, countrywide rail blockades and a health epidemic that’s sending shock waves through world markets. How can you keep your farm from becoming a casualty of these unpredictable events? In previous articles, I’ve discussed how improving management practices can ensure your farm is running […] Read more

Some crops have a futures market, others don’t.

Making your grain marketing plan

Getting started with the basics of basis and futures

Trade wars, weather delays, low-quality grains, lower-than-hoped-for prices. When your crop is finally in the bin, this might be a good year to learn more about marketing so you can make the most of what you have. There are many different ways to market grains and some are better suited to certain crops. Some crops […] Read more


CXN360’s services include all types of grains, including organic commodities.

A new way to sell your grain online

CXN360 connects farmers with commodity buyers online through a membership system

Farmers generally sell grain based on personal relationships with buyers, says Mike Witkowicz. “You can manage, at best, probably four to five relationships with grain companies.” The problem with that is that there are more than four or five potential buyers out there. Witkowicz is the vice president of strategy and business development for CXN360, […] Read more

One of your first steps is to find out what markets are offering.

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


Pre-pricing grain in 2018 was difficult as many farmers were facing a potential crop wreck due to dry conditions.

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

Should you sell your grain now, or wait? Market dynamics can change quickly.

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