Category: United States

Optimism and urgency in Mexico for possible NAFTA agreement-in-principle

News of Canada, Mexico, and the United States possibly reaching an agreement-in-principle in North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations in the next few weeks is creating optimism in Mexico. “The whole issue has gotten lots of attention lately,” says José Díaz-Briseño, the U.S.-Mexico correspondent for the Mexico City-based Reforma newspaper, in the following interview. Earlier this… Read more »

Sensor brings new wavelengths to crop scanning for needs-based nitrogen

It only makes sense to apply fertilizer where it’s needed, and only where it’s needed. For a long time, agricultural machinery and technology companies have focused on achieving this goal, including German company Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik. The company’s technology, called the ISARIA Crop Sensor, uses four different wavelengths delivered with LEDs and up to 2000 measurement values per… Read more »

Sitting on the right side of the fence on a trade war with China

This week has been laced with trade threats, drama, and fear for agricultural commodity markets, all based on the possibility of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Most economists agree that though a trade war has yet to start, there is a serious flirtation with one. And no matter what President Trump tells… Read more »

Agriculture commodities caught in China-U.S. tit-for-tat tariff threats

When you feel that you have nothing to lose, you are at your most dangerous. With China proposing steep tariffs on U.S. pork, soybeans, cotton, tobacco, frozen orange juice, and corn, the market is trying to determine the probability this all comes to fruition as the bluster heats up. When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN,… Read more »

Staking a claim for ag in the social media jungle

Marketing and farming go hand in hand, says UK communications specialist Simon Haley. In a swing through Ontario that starts later this week, he’ll be urging farmers to use their intrinsic marketing skills to get back in touch with consumers. “Farming is where marketing started,” says Haley. But over the years – as nations became… Read more »

Proceed to checkout — what online shopping could mean for the beef industry

Would you buy a steak, roast, or package of hamburger online? Changes in the way consumers are purchase food ingredients may offer new opportunities, and challenges, to the beef industry. Don Close is a senior analyst of animal protein at Rabo AgriFinance, and recently completed a report entitled Food Fight! — Online and Brick and Mortar Battle… Read more »

Farm data, privacy, and the #DeleteFacebook movement

In this piece: A brief background on the Cambridge Analytica situation | Personal data – do we know what we’re signing up for? | Mental health – how does using social media make us feel? | Will you #deletefacebook? We’ve known for a while that social media is a complicated beast, especially as it relates… Read more »

Is U.S. agriculture’s voice for trade with Canada falling on deaf ears?

Lobbying can be a repetitive and tiresome job, both in Ottawa and in Washington. Sometimes it can feel like your message is just not getting through to the government like you need it to. Such is the case, it can be said, regarding U.S. agriculture groups pressing its government on the benefits of NAFTA and trade… Read more »

Looking for direction — this week in the grain markets

Grain markets had another volatile week as we dealt with conflicting bullish and bearish variables including, but not limited to: exports, acreage forecasts, weather forecasts, and currency swings. Sounds like a normal week, right? First, the Canadian dollar lost nearly 2% this week to close under 76.5 cents USD. This is the first time it… Read more »

The challenge of representing all farmers’ interests at a national level

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture held its annual general meeting recently at Ottawa, where farmers from across the country brought forward no fewer than 45 resolutions. From lobbying efforts surrounding the carbon economy and recognizing farmers’ good work on carbon sequestration, to sorting out the current railway backlog, and on to holding firm on supply… Read more »

Bitcoin vs blockchain: Which one should farmers learn about?

If the very idea of a digital currency makes you blank out, worry not — there are very few out there who would argue that Bitcoin has a large role to play in agriculture. If you’ve lumped the blockchain concept in with Bitcoin, that’s where you need to pause and investigate further. Because, while the… Read more »

Trump takes NAFTA hostage with threat of steel tariffs

We were warned early on by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland that the NAFTA talks would be rocky. She was right. We are through seven rounds and more clouds hang over the talks than ever. With a Mexican election on July 1, and the fall U.S. midterms surely pushing talks into 2019, the U.S. President… Read more »

U.S. wheat growers hopeful for good news on trade deals

Just this week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released the Trump Administration’s Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report, saying “We are already seeing the results of President Trump’s agenda pay off for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.” But not every American would agree with that statement, and some farm grower organizations are anxious to see… Read more »

AEM expects machinery sales to rebound in 2018

With commodity prices staying low and farmers facing higher interest rates for the foreseeable future, there is reason to be cautious about equipment sales moving forward, especially after 2017’s mixed bag of results between Canada and the U.S. Some manufacturers, though, do see light at the end of the tunnel. At play in the optimism,… Read more »

Monitor seedbed quality on-the-fly with AFS Soil Command

Seedbed conditions should set the planter speed limit, but a seedbed is rarely uniform from one end of the field to the other or from pass to pass, often because of variability in tillage passes. Seedbed conditions should inform planter settings and speed of planting, but how can you best gauge and adapt tillage to… Read more »