GFM Network News

The view from GrainWorld

Most presenters said there are a lot of balls in the air right now, and nobody knows where they will fall

It is definitely one conference not to be missed. Numerous speakers covered various topics although this year it seemed that most things that made me go “hmmm” were in the areas of trade dynamics, political/social factors, marketing and, of course, technology. Political and social factors dominated many of the sessions with suggestions that there will

Currency volatility important to remember

We’re currently at the low end of the historic range for the loonie’s value against the greenback

Canada exports almost a third of its gross domestic products of goods and services. And when it comes to agriculture, those percentages are even higher. Based on statistics from the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, we export 50 per cent of our beef/cattle, 65 per cent of our malt barley, 70 per cent of our soybeans,

U.K. long-term government bond interest rate (1700-2016).

Derwin: Analyzing interest rate trends

Interest rates can do some surprising things for longer than expected

I put a great deal of effort in to analyzing long-term historical trends to better understand the cyclical nature of human behaviour and its impact on financial market prices. Interest rates are no exception. In fact, interest rates are key to the pricing structure of almost every other asset from stocks, gold and currencies to

From a financial perspective, the objective is to get the most bottom line net profit possible every year.

Using ratios to calculate your farm’s performance

Use this simple but powerful 
tool to see how you’re really doing on your farm

Last month, we looked at how a review and assessment of your marketing can help make your production sales more balanced, easier to manage and ultimately more profitable. This month, we’ll look at how these marketing practices are part of a bigger picture called gross margin efficiencies. As we all know, commodity sales are your

Watch agricultural commodity markets for seasonal patterns

Taking advantage of these trends to your benefit is both an art and science

Seasonality in farm commodity prices is a commonly followed market indicator and it makes some sense. Given crops are planted in the spring, subject to weather throughout the growing season and then harvested in the fall, they follow a natural pattern throughout the calendar year. But the more important question is: can you profit from

Derwin: Dollar direction signals hard to decipher

Every week the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) releases its Commitments of Traders (COT) report. But just how committed are the traders shown in those trading activity reports? When you look at what traders can also do in the cash, over-the-counter and physical markets associated with those futures contracts, it’s difficult to say for sure. This

Poker strategy can help you make better marketing decisions, according to one author.

Thinking in bets

A poker champ turned strategy consultant can help you understand markets a bit better

Last month I explored a book called History’s Worst Predictions And The People Who Made Them, and the simple conclusion was that predicting the future is difficult. I said that: “While there is nothing wrong with financial forecasts or market outlooks, be careful of right or wrong statements and all or nothing thinking. Avoid words

Cracked crystal balls abound

Predictions have a funny way of turning out spectacularly wrong

Over spring break, I read a fascinating book called History’s Worst Predictions And The People Who Made Them, by Eric Chaline. It covers predictions since Roman times from topics including war, financial markets, technology, economics as well as end of the world or doomsday scenarios. What made it so interesting was not that these predictions

In some cases, canola that was on the verge of being harvested was inundated by too much moisture in the form of rain and snow.

Fall harvest showed little market impact

A tough fall usually has little effect on harvest or prices in the end

The great thing about writing these articles is I get to learn along with readers. I get to answer questions and address timely topics that hopefully allow farm business owners to think differently about markets and dig deeper into common practices and beliefs or simply question conventional wisdom and anecdotal evidence. So, given the attention

The ABCs of cattle options and futures

These tools can help you manage both your costs and your revenue

An estimated 27,000 cattle producers across the Prairies manage about nine million head in cow-calf, feeder and stocker operations worth approximately $8 billion, according to StatsCan data. That’s a lot of money. So it’s no surprise more and more cattle producers want to learn about price protection for their cattle. Speaking with producers at the