GFM Network News


Crops like soybeans, corn and oats are all showing good margins and will compete with canola for acres in Manitoba.

Canola looks pretty profitable, but so do a lot of other crops

Examining Manitoba's break-even yield risk ratio

Before you think we’ll see canola seeded from fence post to fence post this year, it’s good to look at some numbers. And while canola gets a lot of news coverage because of its futures market, the good news this year is that most other crops are showing high prices as well. However, while these

When to keep your crop in the bin

When to keep your crop in the bin

Storage can be your friend when marketing grain — but only sometimes

The famous line, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold” from the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” also rings true in grain marketing. Which grain to hold in the bin and for how long is influenced by many factors. Certainly an important component is your storage infrastructure. How much bin


Figure 1.

Commodity markets simmering down

It looks like a much calmer ride could be in store for markets this year

There’s no denying 2020 was an unprecedented year. What surprises are in store for us this year? After so much uncertainty last year triggered by COVID, it’s easy to think that the surprises will continue into 2021. But, maybe the biggest surprise of all will be that there will be no big surprises this year!

We don’t know exactly how interest rate trends will evolve nor what the consequences will be. – David Derwin.

As the calendar turns

2020 illustrated volatility in stunning fashion for market watchers

It’s that time of year again, as another calendar page turns. I’m sure we’re glad to see the end to this year, although that doesn’t mean things have magically changed on January 1. At least now we can take a look back with a better understanding of where we’ve been to help figure out where

Understanding basis one of the basics of grain marketing

Understanding basis one of the basics of grain marketing

This measure of local demand for grain in the handling system can help your marketing plans

What’s the basis for your basis decisions? Basis pricing doesn’t get as much attention as it should but is such an important, but often overlooked or misunderstood, piece of the grain-marketing puzzle. While many farmers do pay close attention to basis, others don’t. I initially looked at basis in this column a couple of years ago and


Take a wide view to understand canola pricing

Take a wide view to understand canola pricing

Canada is a big canola producer but it’s the wider world oilseed market that bears watching

Where are canola prices going this fall?’ That’s been a common question, both this year and in years past. Many factors from around the world combine to affect canola prices. From production science, to consumer trends, to shipping and logistics, from new product uses, government regulations and trade barriers, to commodity substitutability — all affect the marginal supply

What you see will change depending on how you look at things.

Taking a new view of grain markets

Don’t get caught looking at any issue from just one perspective

Every now and then you come across a story or analogy that really makes you think. Even if you know an area or subject matter well, you can still learn more about it when you look at it from different angles. This is especially true in the markets where the landscape is constantly changing because

Most of the time markets move in what can be considered a sideways trend.

Expect the unexpected in markets

When the unexpected hits, price variation can exceed the expected very quickly

Last article, I talked about managing risk and uncertainty in the markets. As you might recall, there is an important difference between the two. Risk estimates everything we think might happen. Risk is our guess about what the future holds. More precisely, it is the range of things that might happen and how probable each


Volatility is more of a mathematical definition of how much a market will likely move in the future based on past fluctuations.

Volatile times need a market strategy

Think of these tools as an insurance policy where you pay a fee to avoid risks

Given what’s happened in the markets in the past couple of months, it’s a good time to revisit risk: how to think about it, how to manage it and its practical impact on marketing and hedging. As the coronavirus was unleashing its effects on the markets, I was also reading an interesting book called An