Marketing Strategy Must Account for Big Crop Potential

There’s been no shortage of information for grain markets to digest this week, with Statistics Canada issuing its first acreage estimates since this year’s crop was seeded on Wednesday and the USDA publishing its latest acreage and stocks projections on Thursday.

The StatsCan report affirmed the potential for a huge lentil crop on the prairies. Canola acres were also raised, while cereal crop acres dropped.

The USDA numbers showed there were was a smaller shift to soybeans from corn during planting than the trade expected.

While the acreage totals are a factor, it’s looking like big Western Canadian yield numbers could have an even greater impact on the production equation results at harvest, says Dwight Nichol of Saskatchewan-based DLN AgVentures.

“The theme is really about the increased yield potential, more than the minor changes for acreage. We’re looking at a scenario where we could produce the second biggest crop, and possibly even the biggest crop compared to 2013 — the previous record,” he says.

2013-14, of course, was the year we saw the massive backlog in the prairie grain handling system, with farmers unable to deliver and take advantage of pricing opportunities.

“Different crops are slightly different. I’m more optimistic oilseeds than pulses and cereals, but as a general rule, you can’t just wait and call your elevator on the day you want to sell in a scenario like this,” says Nichol.

We chatted about the StatsCan and USDA reports, how the shift to more pulses could impact logistics, elevators getting an early start on new crop bids and more — all related to marketing knowing there’s potential for a big crop on the prairies: