Archive for December, 2008

Barley is Bearish

December 9, 2008

I met a very knowledgeable grain merchant yesterday that discussed the grain markets with our management group. The main thing that I took out of the conversation is that in the short term the barley markets may be worse than I thought. There seems to be a growing consensus that the only thing holding prices at these levels is that the supply is in strong farmer hands. The growing fear is what is going to happen to prices once we get to January and February when some selling begins. The barley carryover is heavy and the according to Informa we will have lower demand from feed yards over the winter. All of this is adding up to a very bearish outlook for barley over the next 6 months.

It is incredible that barley has moved from a $270 per tonne in July to $150 today. As I have mentioned before this experience proves that incremental buying or selling is a great natural way to manage your risk. It seems that if your farm needs cash flow in the next 6 months it would be a good practice to sell into rallies and take advantage of incremental sales.

If you are curious as to how barley is priced in your area, Ropin the Web provides pricing and support documentation.


Transgenic Wheat Will Provide Benefits

December 6, 2008

Several years ago, farmers debated the possible benefits that Round up Ready wheat would or would not bring to the market place. Based on the result of the industry debate at the time the idea was shelved. One of the negative fall outs from this has been that transgenic wheat in general has been held back from entering the market place. Round up Ready wheat is just one area of transgenic wheat. All transgenic wheat is not Round Up Ready tolerant. Varieties with specialized characteristics for disease resistance or end use could be farmed like conventional varieties currently are.

Benefits such as fusarium tolerance or innovative end use traits would provide farmers with not only revolutionary agronomics but also increased revenue. The genetic advancements of corn and soybeans are leaving cereal crops behind and it is becoming evermore difficult to compete on a revenue per acre basis. It is time that we at least revisit the topic of transgenic wheat because it is a much bigger topic than just round up ready wheat. As a Canadian industry we must ensure that the US farmer does not receive these advanced traits before we are able to use them provided our global customers want the grain. Consider the money that Western Canadian farmers would save if Syngenta was able to bring its fusarium tolerant trait to the market. Millions of revenue per year is lost by Canadian farmers because of Fusarium.

Click on the link below to read more about how farmers are ready to discuss the topic further. It is time that we start looking to the future and not close the door forever on genetic advancements.

Coalition Govenment Means the CWB Single Desk Stays

December 2, 2008

The formation of a Liberal / NDP coalition government is going to shake the political foundation of Canada. Between the fact that a man that is getting ousted by his own party may become Prime minister and party that has only one concern but to protect the interests of one province is the glue holding the coalition together, this is a situation that is going to really upset the Canadian system.

With the Liberals and NDP running the government as Western Canadian farmers we virtually have no opportunity to rid ourselves of the single desk system. Dion and Layton have made it very clear that they believe in the Canadian Wheat Board. It really is to bad that the Conservatives did not press the issue harder during their last term. I heard several people speculate that the Conservatives should of pressed the CWB issue a soon as Parliament opened to try and get the legislation through because it was not big enough of an issue to topple the government. Well apparently cutbacks to party financing was a big enough issue and not the CWB. Now being called possibly the biggest blunder in the history of Canadian politics Harper may be sitting on the other side of the house.

For many, the dream to end the single desk system on board grains may be lost in the near term. The hope is that if this new government is formed they do not drop the ball in battling international issues like COOL, the global credit and liquidity crisis and the US investigating its commitment to NAFTA.

Haney Farms has GIANT VIEWS

December 1, 2008

Recently I did an interview with the Owner of Germination Magazine, Robynne Anderson. In terms of my writing interests, Robynne has been a strong mentor for me. I was quite honored to have Robynne ask me to participate in her GIANT VIEWS program. Robynne’s company Issues Ink is the North American leader in covering the issues affecting the seed business. Click on the title of this post or below to see my interview with Robynne.