Getting on board

When Allison Ammeter discusses the future of pulse crops with her fellow board members, she doesn’t feel like she’s giving the “woman’s point of view.” Instead, she says she’s asking questions that her male colleagues aren’t asking, and that’s a good thing. “The men ask certain types of questions and us women ask certain types […] Read more

After Brexit: how the United Kingdom is coping with a new trade landscape

When voters in the United Kingdom decided to sever a 40-year-old relationship with the European Union last year, few of them likely considered the potential consequences of punishing tariffs and the loss of free access to the European market of 500 million consumers. STONELEIGH PARK, U.K. — Voters in the United Kingdom may have decided […] Read more

Irish farmers worry about loss of U.K. market

DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland and the United Kingdom may have had their differences over the years, but the two share a strong interdependent business alliance. Bound by cultural ties, proximity and a common language, the two are each other’s best and largest trading partners. As the U.K. prepares to withdraw from the European Union, that […] Read more

Uncertainty reigns in Scotland as Brexit looms

EDINBURGH, U.K. — British farmers need to start preparing for all contingencies once the United Kingdom gives up membership in the European Union. “If farmers stopped thinking about the politics of Brexit and started getting some business planning in place so that when the implications of Brexit actually do come to rest, their mindset is […] Read more

English producers prepare for breakup with European Union

STONELEIGH PARK, U.K. — When voters in the United Kingdom went to the polls in June to decide whether they wanted to stay in the European Union, many thought people would opt for the comfort of the status quo. “The expectation from everybody was that it would be close but that it would be remain,” […] Read more

The commodity supercycle: is a big drop coming?

Farmers might not know much about commodity supercycles. Some might not believe in them. But supercycles are real, and whether or not farmers believe in them, they believe in farmers, declares a convincing chorus of specialist economists. “It’s not just a regular business cycle,” said economist Bilge Erten of Northeastern University in Boston, in an […] Read more

The Prebisch-Singer hypothesis

It isn’t fun being a farmer living inside an economic theory if that theory states that crop prices will get lower over time. But that’s the fate of farmers, according to the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis. And aware of the hypothesis or not, most prairie farmers act in accordance with its dictates. “Efficiency. Right size. Right size […] Read more

Understanding the price roller coaster

Ignore the headlines; farmers advised
to do their homework before making 
long-term investment decisions

Farmers can be forgiven if they are confused about what a commodity supercycle is and whether they are living inside one. Bold headlines and fuzzy prognosticators make the situation confusing. “The commodities supercycle is a myth,” said one research article headline in December 2016. A month later Bloomberg news service reported: “Two bullish signs herald […] Read more

Navigating BREXIT

Calgary-based Western Producer reporter Barbara Duckworth was in Britain recently and spoke with farmers and policy makers about BREXIT and what it could mean for the country’s agricultural industry. In that understated English way, Brian Lear describes BREXIT as a “bit of a mess.” The English beef producer wonders where agriculture sits on the agenda […] Read more

So what happens next?

For many farmers in the United Kingdom, the aftermath of succession from the European Union could be nicknamed Nexit. The decision to leave the 40-year-old relationship in 2019 has left many people in agriculture swimming in a sea of uncertainty as everything from farmer payments, labour availability, regulations, tariffs and border controls is up for […] Read more