Category: Opinion

Grain markets continue to test our patience — This week in the grain markets

On Thursday, October 11th, the USDA released the October WASDE report, showing a smaller U.S. corn crop, but still some relatively large global supplies, notably in soybeans. Going into the report, the market was a bit bearish, expecting 2018/19 corn, soybean, and wheat carryout in both the U.S. and around the world to increase. However,… Read more »

Left on the desk, Oct 5: Dropping turkeys, ancient grains, and white carrots

What a week in the news for Canada and around the world. It’s hard to write about everything when the news falls like a snow squall covering your desk like an early snowfall. The purpose of this column is to get through the pile of paper that was “Left on the Desk.” This week I promise… Read more »

NAFTA Re-Negotiations: Why Canada got exactly what we asked for

During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wore a t-shirt that read: “Keep calm and negotiate NAFTA.” To farmers looking at the result, the shirt could just as easily have read “I renegotiated NAFTA, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Canada came to the table with very little… Read more »

Finally, the end of a tumultuous quarter — This week in the grain markets

Grain markets ended the last trading week of September mostly in the red, weigh on by relatively bearish stocks report from the USDA. Oats and canola prices were the only crops that were able to end the week in the green as concerns about the Western Canadian harvest continue to mount. The gains made this… Read more »

Farmers no further ahead with recent right to repair agreement

If your harvest (or seeding or spraying) has ever been shut down because of a piece of equipment throwing an error code, you probably need to know about the building concern over right-to-repair rules and regulations. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a growing rumble out of the U.S. pitting farmers against equipment manufacturers in a… Read more »

Are we in the golden age of organic production?

Do you ever look back, “Those were the good old days?” We all have periods in business when there is a golden age. A period when competition might be reduced, margins are great, demand is strong, and we perhaps assume the good times will roll forever. Realistically, we know that they don’t. The Wall Street… Read more »

Left on the desk, Sept 22: Go Fund Me farms, Costco delivery, and Canada’s pot bonanza

It has been a very crazy week in the world of economics, politics, and news. Thank you for all of your feedback on this column in the past and please keep it coming. I love interacting with you and getting your thoughts on all the issues impacting agriculture. You can email me at [email protected] Here… Read more »

Most Bearish WASDE Ever? — This week in the grain markets

On Wednesday, September 12th the USDA came out with one of the most bearish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports in recent memory, destroying any pre-report expectations — especially for corn and soybeans. Going into the September WASDE report, the market was already quite bearish on soybeans, expecting to see 2018/19 ending stocks in… Read more »

Don’t get angry, get posting — about cereal, glyphosate, and being heard

Unless you live under a rock, chances are you came across an article that absolutely made your blood boil this week. (No, I’m not talking about the Karlsson trade…) I won’t mention who wrote it. It should be quite obvious by saying “glyphosate and breakfast cereal.” I’m fairly new to working in the agricultural sector… Read more »

Some good news about glyphosate… but does it matter?

A recent report out of Ontario tells a good news story about the much beleaguered herbicide glyphosate. Put simply, the rumours are true — the massive move to herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) genetics in corn and soybeans in Ontario has drastically reduced the total amount of active herbicide ingredients applied per acre, even while corn… Read more »

Canola rotation: “Do as I say, not as I do”

Anyone who was driving around the Prairies this summer saw field after field of beautiful yellow flowers. People who wanted to take pictures to show their relatives how canola turns the entire vista yellow had ample opportunity. At the same time, farmers surveying the same landscape likely couldn’t help but have an uneasy feeling in… Read more »

U.S. rains, Canadian harvest pressures wheat markets — This week in the grain markets

Grain prices had a mostly red week but corn, soybeans, and canola were all about to recover their losses on Friday to end the week near equal — if not slightly above where they ended the previous Friday. Chicago SRW wheat contracts lost about 32 cents USD/bushel to close down 5.5 per cent – six… Read more »

Left on the desk, Sept 7: Grumpy Germans, Chinese frustration, and interest in Argentina

After a one week hiatus, I am back trying to get my desk uncluttered by covering many of the issues Left on the Desk this long weekend shortened week. Lets dig deep into the pile and explore some cool pieces of data, random facts and weave some of it together. Have a great weekend everyone… Read more »

In pursuit of dreams (a farewell to Kelvin)

We all need dreams to believe in. Dreams are about goals, aspirations, and achieving what makes us happy. Dreams are not singular in nature, as we are allowed and compelled to have as many as we want. Dreams are personal, but also involve family, friends, and our careers. Yesterday Kelvin announced that he is stepping… Read more »

National Food Policy should focus on Indigenous peoples first

When I am completely overwhelmed with the task at hand (which is often), I sit down, make a to-do list, and break the task down into smaller, more achievable steps. I prioritize the most pressing issue first, or the one that simply must happen before the other pieces can fall into place. My hope, in… Read more »