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Banner year for Canadian oat exports

Canadian grain farmers grew a huge oat crop in 2020. It came at a time when global demand for oats was high due to a number of factors, including increased demand from the United States and Mexico, and lower production in Australia, a key competitor. Another major factor was unexpectedly strong demand from South America, […] Read more

A combination of strong demand and slumping supply is providing “jet fuel” to soybean prices, and the industry has quickly transitioned from a surplus situation in June and July to today’s demand rationing scenario.  | Reuters/Dave Kaup photo

Soybeans rally as demand is rationed

The extent of demand rationing and how far prices might rise will depend on how long it remains dry in Argentina

The soybean-led oilseed price rally is not over, according to a senior executive at one of the world’s largest grain companies. Markets are beginning to ration demand, which is something that hasn’t happened for seven or eight years, said Joe Stone, Cargill’s executive vice-president of the agricultural supply chain and head of corporate trading. “We’re […] Read more

Biodiesel demand survives pandemic slump

The oilseed-based biofuel has fared better than ethanol because of its use in the trucking sector, which hasn’t slowed

COVID-19 slashed corn demand from the ethanol sector but it temporarily boosted canola demand from the biodiesel industry, says an official. The impact of the pandemic on North American biodiesel production has been minimal, said Chris Vervaet, executive director of the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association. In the United States, which is the main North American […] Read more


Canola exports and domestic demand are so robust at the moment that the country could be out of supply before the crop is harvested.  | File photo

Markets soar skyward as supply and demand forces align

It wasn’t only Jupiter and Saturn aligning in December to produce an awe-inspiring sight. Strong demand for oilseeds and worries about global production aligned to cause canola and soybean futures to soar to levels not seen since 2014. From Dec. 1 to Jan. 8, March canola futures rose 14.5 percent. That lagged behind the 18 […] Read more

It’s great to be keen to play with the big dogs, but it’s best to have an escape plan, just like Louie. | Ed White photo

In this bull market, the best advice is to be like Louie

I bristle when people say my dog Louie is scared. This happens when we come up to another dog and little Louie keeps his distance, backs away from over-friendly and aggressive possible playmates, and always makes sure there’s an escape route behind his butt. To me, this is just caution, prudence and a necessary precursor […] Read more


Consumers have become more interested in pork over the last 10 years as they learn more about its preparation.  | File photo

Pork’s affordability may create opportunities

Industry told it can capitalize on COVID-19 austerity by providing consumers with cheaper meat and more convenience

Sylvain Charlebois sees opportunities for pork, and by extension hog producers, amid trends emerging from the pandemic. The Dalhousie University professor and researcher, who has become known as The Food Professor, told participants in the Jan. 5 online Banff Pork Seminar that the hog industry should find new ways to present pork to capitalize on […] Read more

WP livestock report

Hogs The U.S. national live price average for barrows and gilts was not available Jan. 8 or Dec. 31. U.S. hogs averaged $54.94 on a carcass basis Jan. 8, up from $50.85 Dec. 31. The U.S. pork cutout was $81 per hundredweight Jan. 8, up from $78.58 Dec. 31. The estimated U.S. weekly slaughter to […] Read more

Canfax report

This cattle market information is selected from the weekly report from Canfax, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. More market information, analysis and statistics are available by becoming a Canfax subscriber by calling 403-275-5110 or at www.canfax.ca. Active fed trade Alberta direct cattle sales saw very active trade last week with dressed prices $2-$3 […] Read more


The only question is the size of the rebound. Will acres increase by 30 percent or 60 percent? | File photo

Soybeans to bounce back in 2021

Solid yields and near record prices. Combine those two factors and the result is usually more acres. Seeing how both of those conditions are in play, acreage of western Canadian soybeans should rebound in 2021. The only question is the size of the rebound. Will acres increase by 30 percent or 60 percent? “I keep […] Read more

How much has Western Canadian grain transportation changed in 25 years? A lot, and not at all

Some things have never and probably will never change in Western Canadian agriculture. Number One of those things is farmers’ and grain companies’ constant and chronic complaints of poor and unreliable rail transportation. From 26 years of working at this newspaper, I’m pretty confident stating that grain transportation has been farmers’ biggest problem of the […] Read more