GFM Network News


Terry Betker, CEO and president of Backswath Management Inc., advises farmers on managing interest rate risk.

Looking for a loan? Add in interest rate risk when deciding to borrow

With Canada enjoying some of the lowest borrowing costs on record, it might be time to consider that expansion, but how do you avoid the landmines if interest rate shifts appear on the horizon?

Working on your farm management skills is like exercising… it pays big benefits, but it’s easy to push it off for another day. Only one-third of producers use business advisers or risk management tools, and fewer still do HR, succession, or strategic planning. To help make your farm more profitable (and your life more enjoyable),

Warren Buffett

Buffett uses farm as investment example

Don’t speculate on price movements, says world’s fourth-richest man

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, known for his folksy straightforward communication style, turned to farming to recommend his winning strategy for investors to follow. In an excerpt of his annual letter to shareholders, Buffett used a 1986 purchase of a farm located 50 miles north of Omaha to support his case about simple, diversified and


CWB retirees keep indexed pensions

No matter what happens to revamped Canadian Wheat Board, its retired employees will still receive indexed pensions. The federal government gave $348 million last year to cover CWB’s “legacy liabilities,” including pensions and pensioners’ benefits. Some of those funds were used to purchase a $150-million indexed group annuity buy-in from Sun Life Financial, the CWB

FCC accused of overstepping its mandate

A new report by a leading public policy think-tank accuses Farm Credit Canada and other federal financial Crown corporations of “mission creep” by offering services far beyond their original mandates. The report by the C.D. Howe Institute recommends their authority “should be clearly circumscribed and even rolled back” so private lenders can do more to

Canada joins Pacific trade talks but not much accomplished

Canada’s first official participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks won’t be remembered for its accomplishments, say two observers. The latest round of talks in New Zealand, the 15th since 2009, laid bare the divisions among the 11 participating countries, said Canadian trade watchers Peter Clark and Gordon Campbell. “The best you could say


Local investment can pay off

Canadians may not have to face some of the dangers others in the world are dealing with directly, but there’s still good reason to be nervous. After all, Bernie Madoff drained the accounts of his Canadian holders — including some of our most prominent institutions. If the shenanigans at Jon Corzine’s MF Global or at

EU Meltdown Takes Down Global MF

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and ICE Futures Canada said Oct. 31 that customers of broker-dealer MF Global were limited to liquidating their positions. The exchange, which owns the Chicago Board of Trade, said it would no longer recognize MF Global, which filed for Chapter 11 as a guarantor for floor trading. The company filed for

Time To AgriInvest

When 2010 AgriInvest Deposit Notices appear in mailboxes in the coming weeks, producers are encouraged to take advantage of this easy-to-use program. AgriInvest is a self-managed producer-government savings account that allows producers to set money aside which can be used to recover from small income shortfalls or to make investments to reduce on-farm risks. The


Investors Still Hungry For Ag Funds

Retail investors have continued to crowd into the broad commodity-fund sector even after prices for corn, wheat and soybeans reached 2-1/2-year highs this year, an analysis of fund flows showed. The growth of “alternative” investments is partly the result of lessons learned after the financial collapse of 2008-09, which includes the importance of diversification as

In Brief… – for Mar. 17, 2011

Terminal deal:Richardson International Limited said March 10 it has agreed to buy the North East Terminal grain-handling facility in Wadena, Saskatchewan. The $25-million deal, which also includes crop input facilities at Wadena, Kelvington, Foam Lake and Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan, is expected to close on April 13. The sale hinges on approval by North East shareholders,