The R-Brief

Grain Markets

Canola prices remain stalled around 470 USD/MT after rising to as high as 525 USD in July and then falling to around 450 USD by September.

Wheat prices have stabilized around 495 USD/bu. for the moment after falling 30 USD in 4 trading days. Prices bounced at a level that suggests a continuation of the trend higher that has existed for roughly the last 3 months.

Soybean prices were flat all week but the general trend lower remains. After a brief bounce in June, prices came off hard throughout the summer and have been making new five year lows since August.

Agriculture in the News

The Toronto Globe and Mail's week-long series on "The Boomer Shift" featured a story about agriculture. Globe business writer Eric Atkins' piece, 'As farmers retire, soaring land values prompt rethink of succession planning', features the current president of the Grain Growers of Canada discussing how his own farm's succession planning issues mirror that of the entire country's farming community- and how the trend will be to see more technology -dependent operations in the future. Read that story here.

Canada's newly appointed agricultural minister favours the TPP deal. Lawrence MacAuley, the 69 year old former potato and dairy farmer from PEI was quoted Tuesday saying “I suspect when I evaluate the whole thing, it will be something support....I see nothing today that would make me not want to support the whole package.” Read here .

Provincial crop reports from October much bigger than Statistics Canada projected. Analysts credit more resilient crops and better operational techniques. Read here.


The theme for the 2106 precision agriculture conference will be "Turning Precision Agriculture Potential Into Profits". It will be held in London, Ontario on February 2nd and 3rd. More on that here.

Saskatchewan selling large amounts of Crown land. Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart says an offer to sell leased [Crown] farmland to producers is not a money grab. Stewart says the Saskatchewan Party campaigned on selling occupied agricultural Crown land in 2007, because the party believes it’s better to have the land in the hands of farmers or ranchers. Read the rest of that story here.

Educate to Innovate. The aviation program at the University of Louisiana Monroe is positioning itself to be a big player in agricultural Unmanned Air Systems (drones) in a unique way: by offering a free seminar to farmers next week on everything from ground station control to field mapping. They promise more free seminars will be set up in the future. Read the rest of what ULM is doing in this area here.

Ag-tech is more than just drones. At least according to an interview with Techrepublic discussing (amongst other things) agriculture and robotic technology, former iRobot employee and the inventor of the Roomba vacuum Joe Jones argues that:

“Most of what drones do is gather information about crops and growing conditions. Any information you can get by looking from above. But if you need to take action from the ground, or look at the base of a plant under a canopy, drones can’t help with that. That’s why you need ground-based robots”
— Joe Jones

 Read the full interview here











Richard RubensteinComment