Farm Facts and Furrows – Jan 15-14

2014 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program

Now Accepting Applications: Have you developed and implemented an innovative product or process within your agriculture or food business? If so, you could be eligible to receive one of the following awards from the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program: Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000), Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000), Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each) and Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each). Eligible applicants include: primary producers/farmers, processors and agri-food organizations. A copy of the program guidebook and application form, as well as information on previous award recipients, is available at or by calling 1-877-424-1300. Applications will be accepted until 5 pm, Friday, February 28, 2014.

Canadian beef herd

The Canadian beef herd is not in the expansion phase yet, according to Anne Wasko, Gateway Livestock Exchange. Calf prices are higher than last year. Lower feed prices for corn in particular have encouraged bidding by feedlot managers. Fed cattle numbers are tight giving feedlots more leverage on price. It is not enough to entice herd expansion to date. Cow calf farmers have to decide whether to take profits now or retain heifers for long term investment. For feedlots, reaction to country of original labelling COOL in the US is of concern. This fall we have seen record prices for fed cattle in Canada. Tight supplies and lower feed prices encourage positive margins for feedlot managers.

Grain marketing workshop in the Verner area

This is an opportunity for grain producers to generate confidence in developing and executing a grain marketing plan by exploring the basics of commodity grain marketing. The workshop focus is on market fundamentals, cost of production, pros and cons of marketing tools to manage price risk and an introduction to hedging with futures and put options. Workshop Topics: Market terminology, cash market price components (futures + basis), cash market pricing tools (cash at harvest, storage, forward contracting, basis contract, futures first contract). Hedging with futures and putting options, cost of production, all together in a plan. Workshop Leaders: John Bancroft, OMAF and MRA Market Strategies Program Lead and John Molenhuis, OMAF and MRA Business Analysis and Cost of Production Program Lead. Location and date of this event will be announced shortly.