GFM Network News

A combination of late planting and soggy soils can create a host of problems.

Comment: Looks like 2019 is one of THOSE years

While the Canadian Prairies are dry, the U.S. is struggling with very wet conditions

For many of us, certain years are permanently imprinted in the brain: 1983, 1993, 1995. While rainfall is generally welcomed, there are those years when one wishes that it would just hold off long enough to get the crop in the ground. Surely 2019 is destined to join that company. Worse than that, it looks

Farmer holding soybean

Comment: U.S. farmers suffering from trade wars

As usual, farmers are getting it coming and going from this economic upset

Despite the hope that the U.S. and China would come to an agreement on trade that would end China’s retaliatory tariffs on agricultural imports from the U.S., nothing is on tap as we write this column. In what appears to be an attempt by the administration to pressure the Chinese into a deal by announcing

Wheat and American dollars

Opinion: Whistling in the low-price dark?

As we write this column, U.S. farmers are preparing to plant in the face of what looks to be the seventh year of significantly lower prices. The recent and historic price peak occurred in the 2012 crop marketing year when widespread drought across a significant portion of the Corn Belt resulted in an average corn

The 2018 Farm Bill does nothing about the major problem farmers face — the lack of a price that is even close to the full cost of production.

Comment: U.S. Farm Bill: ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’

The latest Farm Bill does nothing about the major problems — low prices and overproduction

As we began reading details from the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill, it reminded us of the old 1960s spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Except in this case no one is likely to end up with the gold. Let’s start with the

United States Money

Opinion: Emergency payments: Déjà vu all over again

The Trump administration’s US$12 billion in “trade-dispute-related” emergency payments were a surprise. The current set of emergency payments was put into effect by administrative action while the earlier set of emergency payments were voted on by Congress and signed into law by the administration. Though there is a 17-year gap between the earlier emergency payments

Opinion: Not sufficient for gains to outweigh losses in trade

One of the surprise issues of the 2016 U.S. election was trade policy. For decades Republicans and some Democrats have supported a succession of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements including the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which includes the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Opposition to these agreements traditionally was concentrated among Democrats

The input industry championed the three-decade push for all-out production

Planned production reductions would eat into their bottom line, making them an unpopular policy topic

Why are supply management programs such an anathema to so many people? Part of the reason can be traced to events that took place 34 years ago. Between the 1981 crop year and the 1982 crop year, corn ending stocks increased 1.0 billion bushels (12.2 per cent of production) to 3.5 billion bushels with grain

If we are going to have a farm program, supply management makes the most sense

If we are going to have a farm program, supply management makes the most sense

Revenue supports could break the cycle of over- and undersupply of agriculture commodities

The Texas Farmers Union contracted with the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center to develop a design for the commodity title of the 2018 Farm Bill based on supply management principles. Supply management, as a way to tackle the chronic price/income problems faced by farmers, has been out of favour in the U.S. for at least the

Close-up of corn kernels

Once again, big crops cost extra for the U.S. taxpayer

Longtime observers of the farm economy say it’s cheaper to control production than to offset low prices

The board of directors of the U.S. National Farmers Union passed a resolution on the farm economy at its June meeting. In part, the ratified resolution calls for “corrective action and evaluation of price support levels” so that farm programs can serve to minimize the farm income drop.” Farmers have become alarmed about the farm

beef carcasses in a freezer

The COOL effect on beef trade

U.S. beef imports have increased at a faster rate than U.S. beef exports over the last few years. Why? First let’s go to the beef import numbers, noting the major country sources of U.S. beef imports. In 2015, the U.S. imported $9.1 billion worth of beef from all countries. Of that number, $7 billion came