GFM Network News

Wheat is transferred from the train cars via a conveyor belt to the cargo ship in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian Grain Commission fees for inspecting outgoing cargoes will rise sharply this year.  photo: REUTERS/Ben Nelms

A closer look at Canadian Grain Commission user fees

There is an inherent conflict of interest when a regulatory agency operates on a complete cost recovery basis

The Canada Grain Act was enacted in 1912. The last set of significant amendments was made in the early 1970s. Since then, there have been vast changes in farm operations, grain handling, marketing, exporting and the global marketplace. The time is exactly right to modernize the Canada Grain Act. The federal government passed Bill C-45,

Let’s Keep Risks In Perspective

The nuclear crisis in Japan is likely to have a big impact on the future development of the nuclear industry around the world. In a less direct way, it could also lead to more starving people. The link between the two issues is trust. Nuclear power generation is safe, we’ve been told. Unfortunately, no one

Marketing Into Growing Economies

It’s one of those rare times at present, when every sector of agriculture is receiving profitable prices from the marketplace. This fits well with the theory of an increasing worldwide population and the growing demand for food. It’s comforting to believe that as farmers we can just continue to do what we’re doing and watch

Cheap Food Versus Expensive Oil

You can’t have cheap food and expensive oil. It just doesn’t work. For hundreds of millions of people who earn only a dollar or two a day, increasing prices for staple foods like grains, pulses, rice and cooking oil is a big deal. Canadians spend only about 11 per cent of their disposable income on

New Revenue Insurance For Farmers

Abrand new type of revenue insurance is being offered to grain farmers this spring. If it proves itself, it may decrease the need for crop and hail insurance. The company behind the offering is Global Ag Risk Solutions of Moose Jaw. Financial planner Grant Kosior is one of the founders. The others are Dean Klippenstein

Battle For Acres

It wasn’t many years ago when the grain market could be categorized as the good, the bad and the ugly with most commodities in the last two categories. Based on the market outlook presentations at the recent Crop Production Week in Saskatoon, the appropriate categories for 2011 are not so good, good and really good.

Grain Producers Eager To Play Ball

Forgive the corny analogy, but in many ways, Crop Production Week and the corresponding Western Canadian Crop Production Show can be likened to a baseball game. Thousands of producers flock to the trade shows and to the meetings during early January just like the crowds gather for a ball game. The game has nine innings.

Democracy Doesn’t Just Happen

It’s election season for farmers. Not only did rural municipalities recently have elections, but producers have received ballots in the mail for director elections to the Canadian Wheat Board. Democracy is great, but it does have its foibles. Overall election activity was up across the province and that’s a good thing. Too many sit on

Grain-Grading Pain

It’s a difficult year to be a grain buyer. Due to bleaching, sprouting, disease and frost, grades are all over the map and a lot of the grading factors are open to human interpretation. The grading standards sound objective. For instance, No. 1 canola may contain up to two per cent distinctly green seeds and

Cows Are A Tough Business

With the fall calf run underway, cow-calf producers are rejoicing over this year’s dramatic improvement in prices. They have been many years with heavy losses and lots of producers have said “to heck with it all” and have sold off their herds. Unfortunately, the big improvement in prices doesn’t necessarily mean that profitability has arrived.