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The Grains in Action Experience

Blog post by Natalie Walt, Grains in Action 2016 participant

Over four days in February, I had the opportunity to spend time with 30 peers from assorted backgrounds from across the grain industry. We toured Southwestern Ontario learning about the grain production process and how it moves from farm to fork or a variety of other end uses.

grains in action participants

We were given in-depth tours and presentations at Ontario grain elevators, port terminals, an ethanol plant, and a flour mill. I currently work in agribusiness in grain merchandising, so the information presented was highly relevant to understanding how my role fits into the bigger picture of the grain industry.

Most interesting to me was the flour mill in Cambridge, owned by Parrish & Heimbecker. We were given a top-down tour of the 200 year old mill, explaining the processes the kernels of wheat go through in order to be ground into a usable product for industrial, retail, and food service customers. I also learned about the various market classes of wheat within Ontario. Each of these classes have a unique set of traits that affect their milling characteristics Some are great for cakes and pastries, while others are more suited for crackers and flatbreads.

grains in action 2016

The most entertaining stop of the tour was undoubtedly Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. in Windsor. Master Blender, Dr. Don Livermore took us through a fascinating and lively presentation on the history of whisky and how Canadian farmers contributed to the rise in popularity of this beverage. He explained how Canadian grains are perfectly blended to create a flavour profile that is unique from other countries' version of this drink.

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Grain Market Commentary for February 7, 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members are invited to attend two full-day marketing seminars on grain marketing: Intro to Futures & Options, as well as the more advanced Options & Technical Analysis.

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Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT March 3.61 ↑ 05 cents
Soybeans CBOT March 9.96 ↑ 04 cents
Wheat CBOT March 4.51 ↑ 18 cents
Wheat Minn. March 6.07 ↑ 01 cents
Wheat Kansas March 4.67 ↑ 35 cents
Chicago Oats March 2.65 ↓ 10 cents
Canadian $ March 0.8130 ↑ 0.23 points

Notice: The commentary for all commodities was written at 10 a.m. on February 8 before the release of the February United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

Cash Grain prices as of the close, February 7, are as follows: SWW @ $210.13 ($5.72/bu), HRW @ $207.82/MT ($5.66/bu), HRS @ $233.89/MT ($6.37/bu), SRW @ $205.52/MT ($5.59/bu).

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Market Trends Report for February-March 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

The winter season in North America is often one of hopes and dreams. With the January 2018 USDA report a month old the scope of the 2017 crop is now becoming a memory. Farmers have turned the page and will soon be planting corn in places like Texas. However, in the southern hemisphere corn and soybean crops are growing in the field and affecting prices every day. While the northern hemisphere freezes under the snow, weather in Argentina and Brazil has been defining the initial grain fundamentals for 2018.

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On February 8th, the USDA released its latest World Supply and Demand Estimates. (WASDE) The USDA lowered US corn ending stocks to 2.352 billion bushels down 125 million bushels from last month. This was totally related to an increase in US corn exports by the same amount. This was attributed to a weakened US dollar and reduction in both Argentinian and Ukrainian corn exports. Hot weather in Argentina had USDA lowering their corn production 2.8 MMT to 39 MMT. USDA maintained Brazil corn production of 95 MMT.

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