GFM Network News


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

Commodity booms and busts: Part 1

Commodity booms and busts: Part 1

Commodity price highs and lows are tightly tied to the economic cycle

The U.S. stock market had one of its worst decades on record from 2000 to 2009, even worse than from 1930 to 1939, averaging just 1.2 per cent returns annually. Commodities, on the other hand, had a fantastic decade. U.S. stock markets had a great decade from 2010 to 2019, averaging 14.2 per cent annual […] Read more


Year and decade financial review: Part 3

The best market predictions are based on probabilities calculated from past performance

The last two columns reviewed Canadian and U.S. decade-long economic and investment performance. Successful investing takes a long-term approach; understanding the underlying reasons for the macro picture is important. Let’s look more short-term. What happened last year, how did our portfolios perform, and what is likely to happen in 2020? I concluded my 2018-19 New […] Read more

It’s important that your farm management team decides what the business of farming looks like on your farm.

Taking farm management to the next level – Pt. 2

Implementing your plan is where real change comes from

In this column, I’ll walk you through the first four of the seven key practices of successful farm managers. Let’s say your family members have taken personality and risk tolerance evaluations and discussed the results. This helped you clarify why some people react the way they do when making decisions or in stressful situations. This […] Read more


Year and decade financial review: Part 2

Can Canada rise from the ashes and generate profitable returns on our investments?

My last column painted a picture of the dire state of the Canadian business and investment climate. Layering in consumer data makes the picture look downright depressing. Canadian consumers are more indebted than ever. Household debt is the highest amongst the G7, about 175 per cent of disposable income. The U.S. has gone in an […] Read more

'Purchasing loyalties is a common political manoeuvre and not really one worth noting, save for the principle behind it and its relevance to what’s going on in Canadian agriculture.' – Toban Dyck

Toban Dyck: Can loyalty be bought?

Loyalty is trumping common sense in today’s trade environment

U.S. President Donald Trump’s new trade deal with China is an attempt to buy loyalty and in Canada, it’s dividing consumers and farmers. Trump recently signed a trade deal with Beijing, exciting farmers and hopefully breathing new life into a sleepy marketplace. The hope that farmers cling to — myself included — is that someone […] Read more


Hedging the Canadian dollar

Hedging the Canadian dollar

Hedging currency is another risk management tool for the farm

David Derwin, commodity portfolio manager with PI Financial, has been working with some of his farm clients for many years on currency hedging strategies as a risk management tool. Recently, he has helped bring these strategies into a package called the Currency Ag Strategic Hedging (CASH) program. This program helps protect farmers from a rising […] Read more

Year and decade financial review: Part 1

Canada started the last decade strong, but wound up weaker than the U.S. Why?


2010 was a good year, but from all the gnashing of teeth, it didn’t seem that way. The world had narrowly escaped another Great Depression, only experiencing the Great Recession. The financial crisis emanated from a U.S. housing crash, quickly spreading to Europe and around the world. Canada stood strong, and by comparison, the 2008 […] Read more


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

Primary energy consumption by source, world.

The sky is not falling, Part 3

The best investment opportunities occur when negativity rules

World total energy consumption has been steadily rising, increasing 3.5 times in the last half-century. This is driven by the more than doubling of population, increasing economic growth and prosperity. Energy consumption temporarily declined twice in the last half century — during the 1980-82 recession and the 2007-09 Great Recession. Energy consumption and economic growth […] Read more