Shutting down small hog operations in China and moving production to large corporate farms could result in a herd reduction that is the equivalent of almost the entire herd in the United States, This would drastically affect supply in the Asian country and in markets such as this one in Beijing.  | REUTERS/Jason Lee photo

Hog disease may change everything

Analysts think African swine fever could decimate China’s hog herd, forcing it to significantly increase meat imports

African swine fever is about to unleash the most profound changes in meat and feedgrain markets that farmers will see in their lifetime, says a market analyst. Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors, said a “pandemic of infection” in China is going to lead to surging demand and prices for North American meat products. […] Read more

Decline in U.S. soybean acres expected to continue for years

Like many analysts, those at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are predicting a steep drop in U.S. soybean acres next spring. Unlike many analysts, they are not forecasting a rebound in those acres in the years that follow. In its base line projections used for budgeting purposes, the USDA is forecasting 82.5 million acres of […] Read more

Call options are one strategy farmers could use to reduce the risk of storing crops in hopes of price improvements.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Storing grain considered a risky plan

A broker advises farmers to buy call options as a way to protect themselves in a downward trending market

Now is a good time to consider buying call options, says a commodity broker. “Right now I’m pushing the option side because to me they’re a bargain,” said Errol Anderson, broker and author of the ProMarket Wire newsletter. Call options that typically cost about $15 to $18 per tonne are going for about $10 per […] Read more


Crush margins have been languishing in the low end of the range because canola seed is pricey relative to oil and meal.  |  File photo

Pricey canola squeezes crush margins, lowers production

Slow crushing pace could jeopardize Agriculture Canada’s crush forecast of 9.49 million tonnes this year

Canola crush margins have been in the doldrums, but they are starting to improve, says a futures trader. Ken Ball, futures adviser with PI Financial Corp., has his own version of a crush margin index, which compares the value of canola seed to that of oil and meal. The index was in the $100 to […] Read more

A large carryout of green lentils is expected heading into next spring, and farmers will need to get rid of it before the crop starts discolouring.  |  File photo

Green lentil potential seen a long way off

India’s import tax hasn’t helped price outlook, but a 28 percent increase in North American supplies is the real problem

No matter how hard Chuck Penner shakes his Magic 8 Ball, the answer is the same — outlook not so good. His question? What is the prognosis for green lentils? “I’d love to be optimistic but I can’t find any grounds for it,” said the LeftField Commodity Research analyst. Large green lentils are selling for […] Read more


Drew Lerner is forecasting normal to above normal precipitation in western and southern Alberta and portions of southern Saskatchewan for November and December. | File photo

Winter to start wet, end dry

Farmers can expect an atypical El Nino winter, says a weather forecaster. Meteorological agencies in the United States and Australia believe an El Nino will soon be forming, which usually means a warm and dry winter for the Canadian Prairies. However, World Weather Inc. thinks the opposite will happen at the start of winter. Company […] Read more

A menu board at the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Sydney, Australia, displays the slogan “Parma for a Farmer,” indicating that the proceeds from sales of parmagiana will go to farmers suffering from drought this year. The extremely dry conditions in eastern Australia are expected to significantly curtail the country’s export potential.  |   REUTERS/David Gray photo

Aussie wheat wreck to boost prices

Drought is expected to reduce the country’s winter crop to 28.22 million tonnes, 31 percent below the 10-year average

One of Canada’s main rivals in the grain export business is having a wretched year and that will likely lead to increased demand and higher prices for Canadian crops, says an analyst. The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (ABARES) forecasts a total winter crop of 28.22 million tonnes. That would be the smallest […] Read more

The Times story says laboratory testing has found high traces of glyphosate, which farmers use to “get rid of rodents and weeds.”
 | Screencap via timesofindia.com

Canadian pulses attacked in India’s press

A number of influential newspapers in India are telling their readers that imported Canadian lentils are poisonous. The stories stem from an Oct. 12 order issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The order instructs FSSAI officers to test imported pulses for the presence of glyphosate. “There is a possibility of […] Read more


A farm crisis in India is being blamed on government mishandling of its minimum support price program.  |  REUTERS/Danish Ismai photo

India’s pricing threatens imports

There is a crisis brewing in rural India, and that doesn’t bode well for a resumption of pulse trade to that country, says an Indian broker. Vivek Agrawal, director of JLV Agro, an Indian commodity brokerage firm, said pulse markets have been stagnant and there is a danger of them heading down. “The fear is […] Read more

Momentum builds to change grain act

Momentum is building to modernize the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission, says an industry executive. There have been several legislative attempts to update the act, which hasn’t had a thorough overhaul since the early 1970s, but all attempts failed to pass through Parliament. “It never seems to make it high enough on […] Read more