Canadian canola could be vulnerable to Chinese trade actions now that Canada has pulled the plug on an investment venture.  |  File photo

Will ag trade bear brunt of China’s retaliation for Aecon?

Get ready for China to pull some more shenanigans with Canadian canola. I’m sure the massive country’s government feels it needs to do something to signal its grave displeasure with Canada’s decision to prevent one of its state-owned organizations from taking over Canada’s biggest construction company. Hitting canola is a pretty easy way to slap […] Read more

Traders work on the floor of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange during the final minutes of trading, Dec. 16, 2004. | File photo

Exchange’s noble history deserves recognition as it leaves Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s 114-year futures-trading existence is ending much the way the Roman and British empires disappeared: with some nostalgia and regrets, but no panic, and an acceptance that its time was done. Most will never recognize it has happened. Farmers probably won’t be worse off after the Intercontinental Exchange, if it gets needed regulatory approval, takes […] Read more

Statistics Canada’s first seeding intentions report of the year finds farmers planning to grow 300,000 more acres of barley, and some analysts think it could be higher than that.  |  File photo

Barley might be bouncing back from its recent doldrums

This could be the year of the big barley bounce back. It’s too early to tell if farmers were telling the truth to Statistics Canada about their seeding intentions, and weather can always throw honest intentions into a blender and puree them into an ugly mess, but as of early spring farmers said they were […] Read more


Canada benefits greatly from having its hog industry integrated with the U.S., but processors have to find a better way to reflect some of the differences between the two industries when prices tank in the U.S.  |  File photo

Producers need to find a refuge from the hogs of war

Something’s wrong with Canadian hog prices and it needs to get fixed. Right now, the market is sending the wrong signals to farmers, and bad signals equal bad decisions made on the farm. “When we (the United States) do stupid things, you lose,” Iowa State University agricultural economist Dermot Hayes commented to me recently when […] Read more

U.S. President Donald Trump has kept the trade rhetoric rolling, but with so many pots on the fire, might Canadian trade be forgotten?  |  REUTERS/Carlos Barria photo

Dull and diligent likely to prevail over Trump trade tactics

America’s mercurial, combative, antagonistic and games-playing president fancies himself a brilliant negotiator. But I’m betting he’s going to get fleeced by Canada’s dull and diligent trade team, and so successfully that he never even realizes he’s been had. I was just in Washington, D.C., and President Donald Trump’s trade talk is still the talk-of-the-town, which […] Read more


U.S. wheat sales are lagging annual averages, but American farmers plan to put 12.6 million acres of spring wheat in the ground this season. That could take all-wheat seedings to 47.3 million for harvest in 2018, 1.3 million more than last year. A shipload of North American wheat, loaded out of the state-of-the-art EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview in Washington state, unloads April 1 on the Red Sea at Hodeidah, Yemen.  The Washington facility is jointly owned by Bunge and Japanese trader ITOCHU.  |  Reuters photo

Frisky market rally ignores larger reality of oversupply

It was out with the old and in with the new when crop markets rallied on the United States Department of Agriculture’s planting intentions report. But even though we all get frisky in the springtime and want to forget about the dreary old crop hanging over us, that friskiness can distract from reality. Sure, U.S. […] Read more

The current failure of the grain transportation system and the threats to some of our most important markets underline why farmers can’t back off from forcing critical infrastructure to carry extra capacity.  |  File photo

Canada-EU trade deal more important than ever

A couple years ago, when Canada was working hard to complete the Canada-European Union trade deal, a lot of people within farming and agriculture were skeptical. After all, everybody knew that the Europeans were never going to accept two-way trade, so we were probably just getting played for fools, said many skeptics. A couple of […] Read more

The supply and demand situation won’t be helped if the recent rise in canola prices lasts a few more weeks and farmers seed a couple of hundred thousand extra acres of canola.  | File photo

Farmers who eye canola rally should consider price protection

Farmers have been given a gift for this last little bit of pre-seeding. They’ve also been handed a chance for fresh risk, if they’re that sort of guy. It all comes from the canola market rallying about 50 cents a bushel since midwinter, especially in terms of profitability. It comes from a nice little follow-on […] Read more


The world market for prairie commodities such as canola is getting less friendly these days.  |  File photo

Market access continuing problem for canola industry

Farmers like to have excuses to head down south to warmer climes in the winter. Heck, almost all Canadians do. That’s the driving force behind holding all sorts of North American winter agriculture conferences in resort locations in the southern third of the United States every year, including that of the Canola Council of Canada, […] Read more

VIDEO: Former PM urges Ottawa to take tough stance with NAFTA

Know what’s in your grain contracts and make sure they protect and reward you as much as they protect and reward the buyer. That was advice from a seasoned sunflower marketer, speaking at CropConnect, to farmers thinking about contracting the crop. It makes a lot of sense because farmers can end up on the delivery […] Read more