Archive for the ‘grain’ Category

ILC 2009: Earl Geddes – VP at CWB – Wheat Breeding and the Future of Biotech Wheat

July 22, 2009

In case you have not been following the story very closely, the debate over biotech wheat is about to restart again. Cereal breeding in North America has been on the downtrend. The past three months have brought wheat breeding investments by Dow Agro, Monsanto and Bayer. These strategic moves are quite obviously being executed so that beneficial proprietary traits can be inserted into wheat genetics. As mentioned before on this site, many possibilities open up to the consumer and not just the farmer if biotech wheat is introduced. At the International Livestock Congress at the Calgary Stampede, Earl Geddes and I discussed the future direction of wheat breeding and how biotech wheat may lead us there.


Check out more International Livestock Congress content


ILC 2009: Brant Randles – Louis Dreyfus Canada – Feed Grain and Oilseed Complex Outlook

July 17, 2009

At the International Livestock Congress I spoke to Brant Randles, President of Louis Dreyfus Canada regarding his outlook for feed grains and oilseeds in the future. Brant and I also talked about the future of grain handling as it pertains to identity preserved crops and the future of the rail system for handling grain from a Canadian perspective.

Click here to view other ILC 2009 content

Crop Marketing Update – Jon Driedger – FarmLink Marketing Solutions

June 24, 2009
On Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Driedger, a market analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg. A day before the Canadian StatsCan acreage Report was released, Jon provided great insight into the dynamics facing the grains, oilseeds and pulse markets this summer and fall in North America.  

A special thank to Jon for his time and comments. Please take the time to check out FarmLink Marketing Solutions — Maximizing profitability farm-wide, through informed marketing decisions.

Part 3 of 4 Jay Bradshaw, President of Syngenta Canada – The Canadian Variety Registration System and Transgenic Wheat

March 18, 2009

This is part 3 of 4 of my interview with Syngenta Canada President, Jay Bradshaw.  In this segment Jay talks about how the variety registration system in Canada needs to be improved and how transgenic wheat will bring benefits to farmers and consumers.  Transgenic wheat is an issue that will have to eventually be dealt with.  Transgenic wheat is not all about Round up Ready or the terminator gene.  It is about being able to access technology like the fusarium resistant trait or end use traits that allow for tastier bread.

Bill Lapp — Advanced Economic Solutions — Discusses the Commmodity Market Outlook

March 9, 2009

I just listened to Bill Lapp, an economist with Advanced Economic Solutions speak about the outlook for commodities in Edmonton. Lapp was very interesting, candid and provided great insight into the commodity market.

The key points that Lapp focused on were:

  • Brazil, Russia, India and China have led the world growth over the last 10 years.
  • The rising US deficit is going to be an ongoing concern. As the US dollar weakens commodities should strengthen.
  • Commodities tend to jump and then plateau. He showed a chart of corn prices back to the 1800’s and showed the group that this has been in case with corn over history.
  • World coarse grain usage is now rising much faster than long term gains. The result is going to be acre battles between major crops. For example, corn and soybeans.
  • The ethanol industry in the US has moved from the gold rush to significant financial issues. Currently, 20% of the ethanol production capacity is idle in the US.
  • The US cattle and chicken industries are under significant financial pressure.
  • Food use of soy oil is going to decline in the US for the fourth consecutive year due to the growth of canola and palm oil. In the US consumers view, canola is a healthier oil.
  • The North American recession has created real financial trauma. The longer the economy is slow, the more likely the US moves to a protectionist agenda of which Lapp is extremely concerned about.

    If you are ever presented with the opportunity to hear Bill Lapp speak I encourage you to attend.

Alliance Seed Corporation is Created – Dale Alderson

March 5, 2009

Last week there was a very unique joint venture formed that will provide additional genetics to the Western Canadian market place.  Alliance Seed Corporation is a new seed company formed by Parrish & Heimbecker, Patterson Grain and several inland terminals in Saskatchewan.  As Dale mentions in the video, the new company will be focusing in cereals but has plans to eventually launch a canola line as well.  

My Trip to Chile

February 5, 2009


I will be in Chile until February 14th. I am going to try and post to the blog as much as I can while I am here but I will probably be able to add the majority of the content after I get back.

So far on my trip I have toured several canola fields and spent time in the back country this afternoon. I am staying in Temuco with a friend and it has really allowed to see the real Chile and stay away from the touristy destinations. Chilean agriculture is very interesting from the sense that there is many different things happening here. In the north around Santiago there is corn seed production and in the south there is a growing canola seed production industry. Chile also has dairies, sheep and cattle.

The main crop seems to be wheat (spring and winter) along with oats and forages. The country is currently harvesting and the yields are lower than past years. While here, I will be visiting different processing plants, field sites and a couple feedlots.
I look forward to sharing some of my trip with you over the coming weeks.

Part 1 – Jay Bradshaw – Syngenta Canada – Optimism in Canadian Agriculture and Who is the Canadian Farmer

February 3, 2009

Today I had a chance to talk to Jay Bradshaw, President of Syngenta Canada in his office in Guelph, Ontario. This is part 1 of several clips that I will be posting from my interview with Jay. In this clip, I asked Jay if there was reason for Canadian farmers to be optimistic in 2009 based on what is in the news regarding the economy and the volatility of 2008. We also discussed the characteristics of the Canadian farmer and what advantages that provides Canadian agriculture in general.

Jay has been in the leadership position at Syngenta Canada for 7 years and has increased the Canadian business significantly over that period of time. The full interview will be posted in two weeks when I return from Chile.

Crop Week – What Farm Credit Canada is Hearing

January 13, 2009

In my role at Haney Farms, I get to chat with many farmers from across the country which allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of the farming community. Another great way to further understand the pulse or the issues of farmers is to talk to equipment dealers, grain buyers and financiers to name few. At the Crop Production Show I chatted with Denton McGregor, Relationship Manager at Farm Credit Canada in Saskatoon to get his read on the current situation and what he is hearing from his clients.
Denton also talks about Ag Day in Canada which is hosted by Farm Credit Canada on January 28th. If the video does not embed properly in your browser click here for the video.

The Grain Markets Provide Reflection

January 8, 2009

It is sad but so true.  The graph to the left not only describes what has happened to the grain markets but also mysteriously looks like a Christmas tree.  I found this picture at the blog Eds World: Grain Marketing.  As Ed describes in the blog, he is not sure if he should laugh or cry.  

As Ed states you should choose to laugh because if you think back on the last 24 months it really is an unbelievable story.  In one breath ethanol is being blamed for high food prices and shortages of grain and then prices have bombed lower with higher supplies and a growing global recession.  
We need grain prices to get to a level where both the farmer and the livestock industry can be sustainable in the long run.  A major part of this is stability in the price and not the massive price swings as we have experienced in the past.  When the price moves that quickly no one can capitalize on opportunities.  The major question now for grain prices is what happens next?