January is normally a busy agricultural information month in Western Canada, with several large provincial events taking place. Compounding the normal flow of information and meetings has been the significant transportation issues that have driven delivery basis spreads wider than at any time in recent memory.
This week’s Western Producer news and markets video-cast catches some the highlights of this busy agricultural news season.
The large crop and the clogged grain transportation system is combining with significant buyer demands for product from a marketing and processing system that is trying to take advantage of the current supply and lower prices to compound the tie ups on the prairies and at the ports.
This week the federal minister of agriculture, Gerry Ritz, weighed in on the issue, saying he isn’t comfortable with full deregulation of grain transportation pricing and offered further funding to study the bottlenecks in the elevation, rail and ports systems.
Analysts at Manitoba’s Ag Days in Brandon suggested the big crop and its sluggish movement might still be felt for up to three seasons if solutions aren’t found.
Saskatchewan cattle producers met in Saskatoon to discuss issues such as American COOL and the pending Western Canadian risk management strategy.
International weather conditions played into a drop in soybean futures, while wheat, after taking a beating on price for several months, broke its trend line and headed up slightly. Saskatoon’s Crop Week events brought meteorologist Drew Learner to Western Canada and he provided attendees at the Cropshere meetings with a peak at the coming growing season’s weather.
These and other issues are part of this week’s video-cast.