If Western Canada grew mostly corn and soybeans, like some of the world’s major exporters, this drought wouldn’t have major implications. But we don’t. What happens here matters to many. | File photo

Drought creates unhappy learning experience for markets

For all the excitement with crop prices, and for all the dread about crop conditions, the most interesting part of the crops marketplace is going to be in the real-world markets where the stuff is actually bought, moved, processed and sold. If Western Canada ends up with a very short crop, and it’s almost certain […] Read more

Farmer Curtis McRae shows federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau his drought-stricken crops.

Farmers need to make the drought matter – to urbanites

With his voice cracking with emotion, Tyler Fulton described a farm family forced to sell-off their cow herd, a herd produced by years of family effort. For thousands of farmers, this summer’s drought is destroying not only their family’s hopes and dreams, but also their ability to survive on the farm. Without a cow herd […] Read more

New crop cash bids of $16 to $18 per bushel (delivered) for canola are not something to ignore, even if prices could easily rise. | File photo

Hot market good time to sell

Farmers shouldn’t refuse to sell new crop, even though the price outlook is bullish. That was a key message from MarketsFarm’s Mike Jubinville as he looked out at a market of tight supplies, weather problems and strong demand. “At least a partial sale into this environment looking ahead to new crop makes total sense to […] Read more

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the dynamic new director-general of the World Trade Organization, is a vocal and ambitious leader who appears to tackle issues head on and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. | Reuters/Joshua Roberts photo

Hopes run high for improving world trade environment

It’s time to get hopeful about the World Trade Organization and our ability to return to rules-based international trade. It’s been a few years since it seemed sane to hope that rules-based trade could survive the onslaught of anti-trade rogues like U.S. president Donald Trump and president Xi Jinping’s China, as well as a growing […] Read more

“If you ... have borrowings of $2 million or greater that do have long-term amortizations that are associated with them, you should be exploring ways for you to mitigate your interest rate risk over a longer period of time,” Quinn Durrant of RBC Capital Markets said during a recent Ag in Motion event.  |  File photo

Interest rate hike protection advised

Farmers should start thinking about protecting themselves from potential interest rate hikes, agricultural debt financing experts say. “If you … have borrowings of $2 million or greater that do have long-term amortizations that are associated with them, you should be exploring ways for you to mitigate your interest rate risk over a longer period of […] Read more

It’s hard to feel confident locking in sales for large amounts of new crop when the size of that crop is in doubt. | File photo

Pricing new crop in hot market can be a tricky venture

It sounds like a good problem to have but figuring out how and when to price new crop during a volatile bull market is causing lots of stress for many farmers. The challenge is compounded by risky crop production situations, especially with a heat wave hitting as canola crops flower and wheat crops head out. […] Read more

The $50 million fund announced by federal special representative for the Prairies, Jim Carr, on June 16 is part of a $165 million Agricultural Green Technology Program, but is focused specifically on funding farm grain drying systems that reduce the use of fossil fuels like propane and natural gas. | Screencap via Twitter/@mclaudebibeau

Feds tout biomass-burning grain dryer

Ditching carbon taxes and giving grants for greener grain drying is evidence of a federal government that listens to farmers, said federal special representative for the Prairies Jim Carr. “It’s a day when the government of Canada shows that it has heard from producers. It has taken action that is meaningful and impactful,” said Carr […] Read more

MFGA chair Larry Wegner says,

Farm stewardship group welcomes funding

Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association plans real-time web program to help farmers make best use of water

Manitoba grazers are going to be able to boost their water and land management abilities with fresh federal funding for a key program. The $1.1 million grant will support efforts by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association to improve farmers’ stewardship of the environment they rely upon. The organization has been developing a web-based program […] Read more

Hog farmers long called for a futures contract that reflected the cut-out value of the pig carcass. That’s the value of the sliced-up parts of the pig that gets sent to grocery stores, processors and food service providers. | File photo

Both hog and grain growers need to use or lose

Use it or lose it. That’s a common, pithy and commonsensical line that often gets used for various ignored possibilities. But reality can be a little more complicated when one tries to take advantage of possibilities. It’s a situation the hog industry and grain growers are dealing with now. Hog farmers long called for a […] Read more

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange designed its contract as a way to better reflect the wholesale value of the pork that comes out of slaughter plants. | Maple Leaf Foods photo

Pork cut-out contract offers new hedging tool

Farmers are big beneficiaries of the new Chicago pork cut-out contract, say industry leaders. “That’s another tool for pork producers, a tool that we really needed,” said Scott Hayes, National Pork Producers Council vice-president, about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange futures contract for processed pork, not pig, prices. “That was a hedging tool that we really […] Read more