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

Check out risk vs. reward on crop choices

Small profitability for most western Canadian crops and losses for others: that’s the bottom line outlook from Manitoba Agriculture’s farm management team. It highlights the need for farmers to take their production and marketing math seriously in these times of narrow margins. That’s especially true because the underlying risks in many of the crops are […] Read more


New cash market information and marketing services available online provide farmers with the tools needed for price discovery in the post-CWB world.  |  William Dekay photo

Thriving cash market survives wheat board demise

This year felt like the year the prairie cash grain market came of age. As with all situations of life, growth and aging, this one contains elements that have flourished and prospered and those that have weakened and died. While marketing platforms, marketing advisers and price competition grew more transparent and robust, some post-Canadian Wheat […] Read more

There’s a real risk that Statistics Canada will further reduce its crucial production of agricultural stats as different interests fight for favour within the federal government, as spending cuts become a government focus and as the dreamy possibilities of our digital age distract the agency from doing boring old surveys.
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Time to speak up for Statistics Canada

It’s time to stop taking Statistics Canada for granted and to show it a little love. It’s also time to let your members of Parliament, your farm organization leaders and your fellow farmers know just how important the agency is for agriculture. There’s a real risk that Statistics Canada will further reduce its crucial production […] Read more