The Chinese government could make big changes to its agricultural policy to restore the country to grain self-sufficiency if the corn shortage is as bad as analysts suggest and imports do boom this year. Corn waits in crib for feeding at hog farm Changtu county, Liaoning province, China. |  Reuters/Ryan Woo photo

China’s corn shortage could bring about rural reform

Something is happening in China’s corn market but crop data and other information from the country is so muddy it’s impossible to tell what is really going on. Every few years some analyst in the grain industry forecasts that “very soon” China will begin to import vast amounts of corn because its farmers will be […] Read more

Independent think-tank RethinkX examines of

Getting ready for lab-grown food probably a good idea

Lab-grown meat — for most, that does not sound like an enticing meal option. But even as the agriculture industry grapples with the implications of plant-based protein production intruding into what traditionally is the preserve of livestock-based protein, it might soon have to come to terms with the even more disruptive technology of precision fermentation. […] Read more

South American soybean production suffered significantly from dry weather during the last strong La Nina in 2010-12.  |  File photo

La Nina likelihood increases, posing risk in South America

National weather services around the world are firming up forecasts for a La Nina to develop this fall and last through the Northern Hemisphere winter. La Ninas in the fall-winter season tend to deliver wet weather to Australia and dry weather to the United States hard red winter wheat belt in the southern plains. La […] Read more


Wheat harvest around the world haven't all been as good as Canada's is looking. Drought in parts of the EU, such as at this farm in Aubencheul-au-Bac, France, have left bins short. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol photo

Bad news about wheat might be factored into the market

While the grain market last week devoted most of its attention to the strong pace of United States crop exports, a severe storm in the Midwest and the monthly supply and demand report, wheat watchers wondered if a seasonal low had been reached. The area around US$5 per bushel has been a level of technical […] Read more

The project is designing and building two 64-tonne, B-train tractor trailers that will travel up to 700 kilometres between refuelling. The units will be operated by Bison Transport and Trimac.  |  Bison/Ballard photo

Prairie research examines hydrogen potential

In a decade or two, farmers might show as much interest in hydrogen prices as they do to diesel prices today. Electric battery power might have captured most of the limelight in the field of advanced vehicle technology in the past decade, but talk about hydrogen fuel cells has occupied a lot of space in […] Read more


International canola values are on the rise, including the Rotterdam price, which has fully recovered from the selloff sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, where the crop recently traded at more than US$1,200 per tonne.  |  File photo

Veg oil rally gives canola much welcomed momentum

November canola futures broke above technical resistance as July came to an end, supported by strong vegetable oil markets, strong sales of United States new crop soybeans and continuing crusher and exporters demand for canola. It would be good to see the contract hit that nice round $500 a tonne mark, a level not reached […] Read more

Palm oil and crude petroleum prices provided support for broadacre oilseed markets as they bounced back from pandemic lows, they but those supports appear to have stalled, awaiting further improvement in the global economy.  |  File photo

Palm and crude’s oilseed support might have plateaued

There is potential for strong canola yields this year if the weather holds and the same can be said of United States soybean yields and yet oilseed futures edged a little higher last week. The most obvious reason for the modest price strength was the strong export sales of U.S. soybeans to China during the […] Read more

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden visits a metal works plant in Pennsylvania earlier this month. The former vice-president promises to end the tariff war with China and repair trade relations with allies.  |  Reuters/Tom Brenner photo

Biden would change trade policy if elected president

Much can happen before the November United States presidential election but at this point the vast majority of polls show a win for Joe Biden so let’s peak into what that might mean for agriculture on both sides of the border. Biden’s campaign website has a page devoted to the Democratic nominee’s plan for rural […] Read more


The Saskatchewan government has made irrigation a key focus of its agricultural vision, but it will also require a competitive tax and regulatory regime, a qualified labour pool, improved transportation , adequate support for technology development and improved trade infrastructure.  |  File photo

Business climate as vital as water in irrigation success

Water is a necessary, but not sufficient resource to make the proposed $4 billion expansion of Lake Diefenbaker’s irrigation area a success. The stable water resource and the increased agricultural output it should produce must be the carrot that attracts investment into value-added processing that will multiply the economic activity that generates jobs, spin-off enterprises, […] Read more

Canadian ag exports benefit from COVID disruptions

May was an excellent month for Canadian agricultural exports. COVID-19 hammered the economy in Canada and around the world, upending many supply chains and hurting much but also creating opportunities. For example, Canadian exports of pork, beef and poultry reached a little more than $800 million, marking a one month record that was almost 19 […] Read more