Many Russian farmers are willing to hold on to last year’s wheatcrop, maybe like this grain from Omsk. The export tax expires in June, prices are expected to improve then. |  Reuters/Alexey Malgavko photo

Russian wheat tax could slash exports

The tax, combined with winter grain crops in poor condition heading into dormancy, is expected to boost wheat prices

SovEcon has further slashed its 2020-21 Russian wheat export forecast, which could mean rising prices. The Russian agriculture consultancy firm is now predicting 36.3 million tonnes of exports, down from its November forecast of 40.8 million tonnes. That is well below the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s December estimate of 40 million tonnes. SovEcon’s drastic reduction […] Read more

The prairie grain production business will never be anything other than a never-ending race between the ability of farmers to grow bigger and bigger crops and the ability of the grain-handling system to carry it all.  | Reuters/Valerie Zink photo

Farm success is biggest grain transportation challenge

Some things never change. Especially this: farmers fume when the grain-handling system backs up or slows down and they get stuck with mountains of grain on the farm, have no cash flow and see their incomes and financial security leaking away as the grain companies and railways seem to do fine. Ever since I started […] Read more

The guidelines are created by the U.S. Department of Agricul-ture and Health and Human Ser-vices. They are updated every five years. | Screencap via dietaryguidelines.gov

Grain, pulse producers happy with new U.S. food guide

The grains sector is happy with the new 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Grain Chain, which is a coalition of United States grain industry organizations chaired by the American Bakers Association, is particularly pleased that the new guidelines maintain the existing recommendation to consume six one-ounce servings of grains daily, with half of those […] Read more


The expectations for ever-growing Chinese demand could begin to fail in a few years when that country’s population begins to fall and go grey. In Shanghai, above, residents’ average age is now 41, but it will age steadily going forward.  | Reuters/Aly Song photo

Bullishness must be tempered with realism

Analysts warn producers there is no guarantee that the good times they have seen this year will continue into the future

Farmers shouldn’t indulge in sanctimonious values-signalling about their contributions to humanity when most are just trying to make a buck, says Neil Townsend of FarmLink Marketing. Growing and exporting agricultural commodities is a cutthroat business and there’s no place for lazy assumptions. Western Canadian farmers like to talk about how they feed people around the […] Read more

Feds pushed to support Taiwan’s entry into CPTPP deal

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association wants Ottawa to get behind CPTPP expansion because it is a particularly good agreement

Canada should support Taiwan in its bid to become part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, says an Alberta think-tank. A new briefing paper released by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy Publications said Canada has been forced to tread lightly in its dealings with Taiwan. That is because China […] Read more


Buyers can still book corn like this from Chivilcoy, near Buenos Aires, Argentina, but only for a shipping date after March 1. | Reuters/Agustin Marcarian photo

Argentina suspends corn exports

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) — Argentina will suspend sales of corn for export until Feb. 28, the agriculture ministry said Dec. 30, announcing the surprise move as part of the government’s effort to ensure ample domestic food supplies. The move by the world’s third-largest corn supplier was a sign of tightening global food supplies during […] Read more

Only the prospect of financial support will encourage farmers to switch from grain crops, with their government-set prices, to the less predictable gains of oilseeds.
 | File photo

Protesting farmers key to edible oils in India

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) — Indian farmer Shingara Singh has grown grain for 35 years and is one of thousands of protesters against agricultural reforms who have the power to help slash a huge annual bill of US$10 billion for imports of vegetable oils. But Singh, 55, says he will only switch to growing oilseeds, […] Read more

WP livestock report

Hogs The U.S. national live price average for barrows and gilts was not available for Dec. 31 , but was $43.19 Dec. 18. U.S. hogs averaged $50.85 on a carcass basis Dec. 31, down from $51.09 Dec. 18. The U.S. pork cutout was $78.58 per hundredweight Dec. 31, up from $71.47 Dec. 18. The estimated […] Read more



Ben and Stephanie Campbell of Grazed Right raise cattle on their Tullichewan Ranch near Black Diamond, Alta. They sold more beef in March and April than they normally do in a year amid supply fears.  | Ben Campbell photo

Supply-side worries send sales sky high

Food shortages at the outset of the pandemic sent consumers scrambling to fill their freezers and larders with local food

Consumers facing the growing uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis are seeking the security that comes from having a freezer full of locally-produced food, said an Alberta rancher. “Our sales have been just sky high,” said Ben Campbell, who sells directly to local customers from his Grazed Right business on the Tullichewan Ranch near Black Diamond, […] Read more