Walking-up an apocalypse, but who’s to blame?

I’ve had nightmare visions before my mind this past week, as three local events have seemed to flow together in a Nostradamian conjunction: this weekend Winnipeg is set to witness Winnipeg Zombiewalk, Winnipeg Slutwalk, and the march and demonstration of the local version of the Occupy Wall Street movement. What if the Slutwalk and Occupier […] Read more


Cycles, seasonals, patterns

The title of my last blog post suggested I was going to refer to market seasonals or cycles. But, as so often happens, by the time I was mostly done writing the thing, it had gone another direction and I had run out of coffee break. So a bit of cheeriness ended up on the […] Read more


Messy pile o’s+ds, stats, cycles and world events

How do you figure out a price outlook these days? It’s always a risky thing to guess where things are going, but often you can start with a general sense of where the world’s at, where crop supply and demand fundamentals are at, and go from there. But where are we right now, with Europe […] Read more



Like Elvis, CWB has begun leaving the building

The Canadian Wheat Board hasn’t left the grain industry building yet, but in some ways it seems like it has. And Gerry Ritz gave it a kick in the rump last week to speed its progress out the doors. I guess in a few months we’ll have to get used to the idea that the […] Read more


Dark days

Crop prices are getting dragged down by Greece’s slow financial death, with Eurozone little Dutchboys trying to plug leaky holes in the dikes, while Greeks protest against reality. I’ve gotta say I sympathize with the Greeks, even though the country is rife with tax-dodging, an obscenely bloated government sector and a generally reality-denying population. Until […] Read more



Need some rules

Owen McAuley just summed up, in closing Fields on Wheels, what most people here are thinking: “We need some defining rules pretty quickly.” “We need to get this argument over with.” But for the grain trade, from farmers to grain companies to railways to ports, if the world of wheat, barley and durum marketing is […] Read more


Monopoly issue 2Hot2Touch?

Want to know how serious commercial people handle a really touchy, divisive topic like the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly? They don’t take a stand and they say they’ll work with whatever and that they will be just fine. That’s a line of thinking I’ve heard quite a few times today at Fields on Wheels, and […] Read more


Potash the coming foe?

Some attendees at the Fields on Wheels  just asked some rather interesting questions of Ray Foot of CP Rail. Paul Earl wanted to know what CP Rail and other railways could do to increase capacity through the mountains, because that’s often what restricts the amount of grain that gets to Vancouver. And Bill Cooper and […] Read more



Big deal or little deal?

“To what extent is this going to be a seismic shift?” That’s a rhetorical question just asked by Richardson International’s Jean-Marc Ruest at Fields on Wheels. His answer, partially given so far, is that non-board grains already move in ways we know, that the farmers, handlers and users of board grains are the same as […] Read more


Comfortably opposed

Otto Lang hasn’t gotten any less confident or challenging in his autumn years. He noted at the beginning of his speech just now at the Fields on Wheels conference here in Winnipeg that he was likely to seem like he was stabbing “91-and-a-half percent” of the audience in the heart with what he was going […] Read more