Need a break from the farm?
Interested in a two-day road trip through the Prairies?
Wondering how the crops are looking beyond your own North 40?
Then the 2019 Grain World Crop Tour might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Grain World Crop Tour is back for a second consecutive year in 2019.
It kicks off July 30 and concludes on Aug. 1 in Regina.
The tour, organized by FarmLink Marketing Solutions, provides farmers and grain industry stakeholders a valuable opportunity to learn more about prairie crop production and market outlooks for the 2019-20 crop year.
Tour organizer Alyssa Mistelbacher said this year’s event will include five different scouting groups, departing from five different locations — Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Kindersley, Swift Current and Edmonton.
Each group will take a different route to Regina, observing crops and stopping at 10 to 12 fields each day to assess conditions and estimate yields.
Tour groups will meet in Regina on Aug. 1 where market advisers, analysts and industry leaders will present their findings, share their knowledge and discuss factors affecting grain markets.
Speakers at the Aug. 1 seminar are expected to include Lachie Stevens from Lachstock Consulting, market analysts Neil Townsend and Jon Driedger from FarmLink, and Drew Lerner, president and senior meteorologist at World Weather Inc.
“There can be a gap in information during the growing season,” said Mistelbacher, an analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg.
The crop tour’s goal is to try and fil that information gap…. The data we gather is critical in building supply and demand tables and will be used to analyze markets and make important sales decisions.”
Mistelbacher said the inaugural crop tour held in 2018 generated a lot of interest and provided valuable information.
This year’s tour will follow a similar format, focusing on wheat, barley, oats and peas.
Tour leaders will conduct plant counts and use established methodologies to come up with yield estimates at different sites along the travel route.
Observational data will also be gathered on canola crops.
The tour and seminar are open to the public.
Attendance at the Aug. 1 seminar is free of charge, although those planning to attend are asked to pre-register using the on-line form here.
“We had a really good mix of participants last year. I think it was about half and half in terms of farmers and industry people,” Mistelbacher said.
“We had about 100 people show up last year and we’re expecting more this year.”
“The seminar is open to the public… and people are also welcome to join the actual tour as well.”
Mistelbacher said drought conditions are a prevalent concern across most of the Prairies this year.
“Dryness is definitely a concern, from Alberta right through to Manitoba this year,” she said.
Farmlink analysts are anticipating increased Prairie acreage of oats, barley and wheat in 2019.
Western Canadian canola plantings are expected to be lower, influenced by strong feed markets, uncertainty over Canadian canola sales to China, and poor topsoil moisture conditions that favour deeper seeded, more drought-tolerant crops.