GFM Network News

Ontario’s dairy farmers ramp up own marketing

Dairy Farmers of Ontario is starting to build its own consumer marketing department, now that it’s retaining marketing funds collected from farmers and no longer sending tens of millions of dollars to Dairy Farmers of Canada. What does it mean? Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s withdrawal from national marketing of milk has meant upheaval at Dairy […] Read more

What’s the price of that crop input?

Everyone likes a rebate. Cash-back cheques are nice to have, but we know they don’t have a lot of influence over your purchasing decisions. It would be much more helpful if you could turn to these pages and see the actual product prices. I’m sure you’ve noticed that most news stories about improved fungicides, newly-registered […] Read more

Marketing grain in a dry spring

Understanding Market Bulls and Bears: Dry early season weather can bring marketing opportunities. Be ready to take advantage

Spring is officially upon us, though you could argue that it has been here since Christmas! I have seen equipment in the fields in Central Alberta since mid-March. Everyone wants to get the crop planted, but they realize the risks of seeding early. They may be out on the land more for their state of […] Read more

Watch those pricing signs

Grade and protein spreads change during the year. Take advantage of change to increase your profits

My last column talked about futures spreads, and how you understand what’s happening in the marketplace by watching how and why spreads change over time. Now, a look at more pricing signals: grade and protein spreads. During the era of the Canadian Wheat Board, grade and protein spreads changed very little throughout the marketing year. The CWB, […] Read more

I think what the consumer wants, and perhaps mostly demands, is a good-quality product, safe and healthy, hopefully tasty, and available at the lowest price possible.

What’s with “consumer demand?”

Both retailers and farm groups are using farm practices as a marketing pitch

I have to admit I am more than a little sceptical of the term “consumer demand.” If I believed every TV commercial, news report, magazine article and corporate pitch talking about consumer demand I doubt I’d be able to leave the house without running into an angry mob rallied in front of some office or […] Read more

Seeing the value of your farm beyond beef and grain

There may not be an immediate cash market for tranquility, but the day is coming

It is definitely catalogue season. Based on past purchases and connections through work I generally receive around 150 to 200 bull sale catalogues each year, as well as lots of general farm supply and auction catalogues. All of this glossiness has spurred a lot of thinking about the products we sell from our farms and […] Read more

Demand for flax is gaining momentum as China becomes what appears to be an unquenchable beast.

Niche crops can pay well

Future crop prices are anyone’s guess; contracts can give you pricing security

What should I grow? What is going to make me money? These are common question this time of year. If only grain brokers had a crystal ball to answer that question with assurance! But at the end of the day the professional experts and even the coffee shop geniuses are really only taking a stab […] Read more

Make sure you get paid

You’ve grown a great crop and booked a good price. Now make sure you actually get paid

Before you shop a truckload of grain, it’s worth knowing a bit about who you’re selling to and what you’ve got in the bin. Doing your homework could make the difference between getting paid fairly and perhaps not getting paid at all. Under the Canada Grain Act, grain dealers and elevators, including primary and terminal […] Read more

Rethink your selling position

If you’re afraid to abandon your entrenched position, you could 
be missing on some profitable opportunities

Let me draw you an analogy. You’re are a private or corporal in an army. Your sergeant marches you out to a hill, where the intelligence guys summarize the enemy’s strength, what direction they’ll attack from and what weapons they’ll use. Your sergeant advises you to pick out a position based on this information and […] Read more

Branding principles — on your farm

You might not think of your farm as a company with a brand, but Kim Althouse thinks you should

For about 150 years ranchers have been branding their cattle. First, to distinguish them from other ranchers’ cattle and second, to establish and identify a quality product. Modern corporations are also identified by a brand that says to their customers that they offer the quality their customers have come to expect. Many brands can command […] Read more