GFM Network News


If you don’t have the numbers to make a truck load lot, it may be worthwhile to team up with another producer.

Numbers matter when marketing cattle

Genetics may not matter as much as larger, more consistent lots

The definition of marketing for some cow-calf producers could be “rounding up the calves, loading them into trailers and sending them to the local auction market.” While this method will put a cheque in the bank account, it’s not likely the optimum definition to tie the financial proficiency of an operation to. Advertise herd genetics […] Read more

The Canadian food industry used to be split at around 70 per cent retail and 30 per cent food service and institutional. Today the split is closer to 90 and 10 per cent, respectively, says Peter Chapman.


How have the value chain and consumers changed – and will it affect your marketing plans?

Be prepared for greater volatility and disruptions to markets, spend more time on business management practices and take a wider view of consumer behaviours and the value chain

Most market analysts and farm advisors agree that farmers shouldn’t change their overall marketing plans over the next 12 months specifically because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential future effects on trade and global economies. That said, this is without doubt a year unlike any other, and to be prepared for the possibility of […] Read more


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