GFM Network News


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


Don’t bet the farm with your grain marketing strategy

Taking a disciplined approach can bring more financial rewards

It must have been farmers who invented Texas Hold ’em Poker. I recently took part in a poker fun night with about 40 farmers. After playing for an hour, you see a lot of similarities between the luck of the cards and the highs and lows of farming. You start the year out in the […] 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


Unless the U.S. ethanol industry is reborn to consume and offset the anticipated increase in corn production from extra seeded acres, there will be more feed corn available for sale and the closest market is western Canadian feedlots.

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

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


The biggest controllable loss every year on grain farms is grain spoilage in the bin.

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

Unrelenting, poor harvest weather made it next to impossible for many producers to enter fields to harvest crops in 2018.

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


Having a well-thought-out risk management plan for your farm can help you endure market volatility.

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

Now that your crop is in the bin (hopefully), what market factors may be impacting prices at the elevator?

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