It was a record breaking October for grain movement and export. October exports of all grains hit 4.737 million tonnes, up 14 percent over the same month in 2017.  |  File photo

Indonesia top importer as wheat sales remain brisk

It is always tricky to write a column with a deadline just as major news-making events are evolving. American President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly agreed on the weekend to temporarily cool down their trade war for 90 days to allow for new negotiations. And a White House statement said the Chinese […] Read more

Algeria is starting to succeed in its efforts to become self-sufficient in durum.  |  File photo

Big Algerian durum crop weighs down price prospects

When searching for the reason for poor durum prices this year we know Italy’s country-of-origin labelling requirement is a problem, but we must also note Algeria’s pursuit of durum self-sufficiency. Algeria is often the largest buyer of Canadian durum, so it raised eyebrows a few years ago when the government decided it would be better […] Read more

Torrid exports early in the crop year mean Agriculture Canada’s forecast of full year wheat exports of 22.3 million tonnes is in reach.  |  REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin photo

China boosts Canada’s early season wheat export pace

Canada exported 5.44 million tonnes of wheat in the first 15 weeks of the crop year, which is likely a record amount for this time of year, helping to keep Canada’s overall crop export pace ahead of last year. The Canadian Grain Commission weekly statistics report showed a very strong export performance in week 15 […] Read more


Brazil’s controversial president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, will likely create considerable uncertainty for a country that depends on trade.  |  REUTERS/Lucas Landau photo

Brazil’s new president sure to shake up agricultural giant

Brazil’s farmers are posting a record pace of soybean seeding this season even as they paused twice to vote in the country’s national election. News accounts say farmers generally favoured the candidate who won the race in a second round run-off vote, the conservative and controversial Jair Bolsonaro. At the end of October, farmers had […] Read more

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Oct. 24. It’s too early to know if the recent drop in the stock market will boost farm commodities, but the U.S.-China trade war is dragging all sectors down. |  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid photo

Equity selloff unlikely to help agricultural commodities

Stock markets tumbled sharply over the last few weeks as traders took profits from the run up earlier this year and positioned themselves for the possibility of weaker economic growth and corporate profits in coming months. Some market theorists believe that when money comes out of equities it sometimes flows into commodities as investors look […] Read more


A study that says climate change could double the price of beer is based on predictions that barley yields could fall three to 17 percent, but the minuscule amount of barley in a bottle of beer is worth only a few pennies.  |  Getty Images

Climate change and beer study sends wrong message

Reports on a study that says climate change could cause beer prices to double have been all over the news, science programs and late night comedy shows. Few things related to food grab people’s attention more than beer, except maybe bacon. With all the craft brewers around these days it’s easy for reporters to find […] Read more

A new study argues that people in the developed countries of the western world should cut their meat intake by 90 percent to mitigate climate change, but this might not be the best approach.  | Debbie Pimm photo

Climate change innovation better than belt tightening

Which of the following messages is likely to be met with more acceptance and a greater likelihood of follow through resulting in positive change for the environment? People need to slash their consumption of meat and dairy to slow the production of greenhouse gases. A dividend of hundreds of millions of dollars in lower costs […] Read more

The new trade deal gave U.S. producers a share of the Canadian dairy market, but this won’t solve the major problem facing the American industry — oversupply.  |  File photo

USMCA no solution to America’s surplus milk problem

Like much of the U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s efforts, the push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement was an exercise with much sound and fury but that failed to address the real challenges. In agriculture, the United States forced Canada to make concessions in dairy, but I believe the positive impact on […] Read more


Soybean and corn farmer Marc Kaiser points out features of one of his grain bins to a Chinese trade delegation near Norborne, Missouri, U.S., Aug. 28. Despite his efforts to make his products attractive to Chinese buyers, Kaiser’s soybeans are worth US$2.50 less per bushel than those of other countries in the Chinese market right now.  |  REUTERS/Dave Kaup photo

Grain exports down so far, but could soon jump

The trade war between the United States and China has had little impact on Canada’s grain exports so far. As of Sept. 23, the eighth week of the crop year, exports of all crops stood at a little more than 5.6 million tonnes, down from about 5.4 million at the same point last year, but […] Read more

Fewer U.S. soybeans sold early into the marketing-year might end up leaving fewer U.S. beans sold overall, which would be bad for all oilseeds, including canola.  |  Michael Raine photo

Can China do without soybeans and will it do it this year?

The United Sates Department of Agriculture surprised the market last week with yield forecasts for corn and soybeans that posted new records and were larger than expected. Corn futures fell particularly hard on the monthly report but soybean prices hung on, based on reports that the U.S. had reached out to China to resume talks […] Read more