Another week, another farm show for the RealAgriculture team.
This week we were in Brandon, Manitoba for Ag Days and it was a fun-filled three days. Here are some of our observations or take-aways:
- There seems to be more optimism in Manitoba than Saskatchewan last week, mainly due to two reasons: First, Manitoba is not as impacted by the India trade tactics on pulse crops like Saskatchewan is. Secondly, Manitoba has more confidence in soybean yields and more rotational options, including the opportunity to swing more canola acres back into the rotation.
- Canola is back in the fold in Manitoba after taking a back seat to soybeans the past few years. Our team heard on multiple occasions growers saying “I am going to grow more canola this year” or “canola is going back in my rotation.” As hard as it is to imagine, canola acres in Western Canada could be headed for another record acre mark in 2018 weather-permitting in the southern tips of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Farmers are dealing with stretched rotations as they try to find positive economic returns — a similar theme as at Crop Production Show in Saskatoon (which is why canola and other crops are coming back.) We addressed this topic from the marketing angle with Brian Voth on RealAg Radio on Wednesday and from the agronomic angle with Anastasia Kubinec on Thursday.
The issue of farm and commodity group reform broke out of the hardcore policy bubble, with farmers talking about the news of Richardson departing from the Canola Council of Canada, the Flax Council of Canada and Soy Canada. Some farmers also took the opportunity at Ag Days to hear about the proposal to merge five Manitoba farm groups, but engagement from producers has been hard to gather based on the attendance for the presentation at Ag Days and elsewhere over the past week.
All season we will be posting summaries of the shows we attend to give you the big takeaways that we observed. Read last week’s takeaways from Crop Production Show and CropSphere here.