Prairie durum: ‘You can’t buy a break’

With the durum wheat harvest rapidly approaching in Western Canada, many analysts are wondering how the dry conditions and extreme heat will affect yields. Yet there is one aspect about this year’s crop they already know. Increased seeded acreage this spring and market access problems hindering longer-term durum sales, mean farmers might want to temper […] Read more

Dry weather not a problem for malt barley crop

The prairie malting barley crop is faring reasonable well in the hot, dry weather, but crop watchers will have a better idea of protein content in a couple weeks. “We’ve yet to see what this crop is. I think we’re a little early yet. Indications are that it could be a little higher protein, but […] Read more

Early harvest pressures Prairie barley prices

Barley prices in Western Canada are falling as an early harvest is weighing on values. “Prices have moderated here,” said Allen Pirness of Market Place Commodities Ltd. Lethbridge, Alta. The surprise rally from last week ended as quickly as it began. Prices which started last week at about C$250 per tonne were down into the […] Read more


Weekly Manitoba Cattle Report

‘Gap’ season more active than normal for cattle sales

It’s sometimes known as the gap season in cattle markets — that slow time of year between the early spring and fall-winter sales runs. But there are decent profits producers can pick up now, said Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying. “Cattle are actually bringing a profit and the buyers are a bit reluctant to […] Read more

Dry weather not a problem for malt barley crop, so far

Winnipeg — The prairie malting barley crop is faring reasonable well in the hot, dry weather, but crop watchers will have a better idea of protein content in a couple weeks. “We’ve yet to see what this crop is. I think we’re a little early yet. Indications are that it could be a little higher […] Read more


Feed barley defies expectations as prices rally

Feed barley prices have no business being where they are, based on supply-demand fundamentals, but that hasn’t quelled the rally. With prices for old crop sitting a premium over new crop, most in the industry expected old crop would gradually decline over summer and the two would eventually converge. But dry weather in southern Alberta […] Read more

StatsCan’s first yield estimates are expected out in August and that will provide a clearer picture of the new crop. | File photo

Looming yield reports key to mustard prospects

Farmers who want to market mustard right off the combine may need to sign contracts soon or delivery spots may be filled

When a niche crop like mustard sees a 30 percent increase in acreage, it can be enough to keep prices tamped down. For 2018, Canadian mustard growers seeded 503,800 acres, according to Statistics Canada, and the trade is no hurry to make deals. Growers seeded 385,000 acres in 2017. “The trade is not feeling any […] Read more

Below average yields are being reported for the first cut of hay in all three prairie provinces.  |  Randy Vanderveen photo

Dry conditions leave hay crops looking thin

Many farmers taking off their first hay cuts are gathering more talking points to grumble over at coffee row than they are hay. While many producers are still working to get the first cut done and the situation could change with the second cut, many regions are already reporting below-average yields. “In areas of the […] Read more


Flax stocks as of March were reported to be 327,000 tonnes, which compares to 417,000 at the same time in 2016.  |  File photo

Firm, steady prices expected for flax this year

Farmers planted less of the crop this year, but demand is growing from China, the U.S. and possibly the European Union

Farmers with flax in the ground should be pleased come autumn. Statistics Canada revised its seeded acreage estimate downward in late June and that, combined with lower carry-out stocks and several other factors, should bring strong prices. “Given the demand in the market from China, the United States and potentially even the European Union, I […] Read more

The national job vacancy rate in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector is increasing compared to the same period a year ago. | File photo

National job rate increases in sector

The national job vacancy rate in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector is increasing compared to the same period a year ago. Data for the first quarter of 2018, ending April 30, showed a vacancy rate of 6.9 per cent in the sector compared to 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Statistics […] Read more