Exchange rates can have major impact on farm margins

Few farmers think much about hedging their currency exposure. It can seem like an indirect factor in most farm-related prices, but it’s well worth considering. “It can have a huge impact on what you sell your grain for in the cash market,” Dustin Gabor, an analyst known as Grain Shark, told me at Manitoba Ag […] Read more

Producers are told that they must understand the true costs involved in buying and renting farmland, which means not just looking at land cost and debt payments versus operating costs or hopeful yields and prices but also comparing them against reasonable expectations for production results and interest rates.  |  Robin Booker photo

Motivation called key when buying, renting farmland

ST JEAN BAPTISTE, Man. — There’s a basic question that farmers need to answer before they agree to high-priced land purchases or rental deals. “Why are you doing it?” That’s something Roy Arnott of Manitoba Agriculture’s Farm Management branch says farmers need to grapple with if they want to farm with any reasonable hope for […] Read more

Clubroot can be greatly reduced with a combination of a two-year break from growing canola and the use of resistant varieties, recent research suggests.
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Longer canola rotations better for combatting clubroot

Clubroot can be greatly reduced with a combination of a two-year break from growing canola and the use of resistant varieties, recent research suggests. More than 90 percent of clubroot spores were eliminated from soils that experienced the break, and yields were much higher, researchers from Agriculture Canada, Alberta Agriculture and the University of Alberta […] Read more

It’s almost impossible to come up with reasonable expectations for profit potential when buying farmland that will take 20 years to pay off.  |  File photo

Purchasing farmland is always a high-risk gamble

In risk management, everything you do should be based on reasonable expectations. Even if you’re the gambling type, you should only be making gambles in which you know the odds you’re playing with. That applies to short-term situations, like the kinds of prices your crops or livestock will likely fetch a few months from now. […] Read more

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Tight year ahead for crop profitability

It looks like a year of marginal profitability for Manitoba farmers. Based on current costs, average yields and present forward prices for the big five crops, farmers should be able to squeeze a bit more money from their acres than it costs to farm them, according to Manitoba Agriculture’s Farm Management team. “I really hope […] Read more

The eastern Prairies will probably face a more severe thunderstorm season. | File photo

Prairie farmers may face wet summer

ST JEAN BAPTISTE, Man. — The drought in the western Prairies and the heat wave in the eastern Prairies shouldn’t continue in 2019’s growing season. But while heat and moisture will return to more normal levels, the eastern Prairies will probably face a more severe thunderstorm season. Those are key conclusions of meteorologist Scott Kehler […] Read more

Viterra offers online grain contracting program

It’s easy and you can do it anywhere, any time. That approach seems to be working for the farmers who have tried Viterra’s new online grain contracting program, the company says. “We’re seeing contracts done daily, which is exciting,” Jeff Cockwill, Viterra’s director of corporate affairs, said about the new entirely online function within its […] Read more

New crop profitability projections help farmers tackle risk

Risk is a basket of deplorable possibilities, while reward is a simple package of profits. It’s easy to see the rewards when they appear. There’s something black sitting in the account after a few months of marketing. Risks are scattered across that misty field known as “the future,” with little pattern but with bad intent. […] Read more

Soybean prices remain at the worst levels they’ve suffered since the end of the commodities boom, while corn, the other bellwether crop, is stumbling along beneath US$4 per bushel.  |  File photo

Worries abound as markets wallow in distressing times

The world has a lot to worry about. That has been demonstrated in a way that those of us who follow markets closely can see most clearly: in the prices of commodities and stocks. The S&P 500 index is still well underneath levels it first surpassed in late 2017 and is still near correction territory […] Read more

Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, frequently cites agriculture in his discussion of modern threats to competition and consumer welfare.  |  Ed White photo

Corporate power threatens farmers: author

A new book calls for a series of cartel-busting and giant-regulating steps that could restore economic welfare and vitality

The vast and intrusive power of near-monopolies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple has drawn much hostility from consumer advocates in recent years. But the digital giants are just the newest form of crippling monopolies, monopsonies, duopolies and oligarchies that are strangling western economies, according to writer and analyst Jonathan Tepper. And the situation in […] Read more