Some very good points in there,SWMan - You clearly have as much as disdain for the former CWB as I have for the grain companies. According to you the CWB was just there hanging out dumping all our wheat and durum for cheap, sitting in their office chairs laughing their ass off at how easy it was to screw us over. Their marketers and employees had no interest in doing the best job they could for the Western Canadian farmer - just there collecting a paycheck - putting in time?
Absolutely some US companies may have bought grain from the CWB and the world market price happened to increase so they sold it and made a profit. So when that pal you made a 'relationship' with tells you sell to me now cause the markets are going to drop next week and then next week the price increases - Did he just make a mistake? The most likely explanation is even the best market specialist does not know for certain what the market is going to do. The difference with the CWB was when they got it right the profits came back to us. When the grain companies are doing it right they are buying low and selling high for them - not for us.
I knew a number of people that worked for the CWB and they had enormous pride in the job that they were doing for Western Canadian farmers. Most employees had come from a farming background or were still farmers on the side. They had a **** of a lot more incentive to maximize the profits for Western Canadian farmers than Viterra/Cargill/Richardson/etc.
Regarding the selling monopoly you are right. On the world scale it was not a monopoly. But regarding the Western Canadian market it essentially was a monopoly - same theory. If you have one seller coming from Western Canada or many sellers coming from Western Canada which has the better opportunity to influence price? Competition reduces prices - no?
Everyone also needs to quit comparing price values with the US. There are so many factors that affect each market differently there is no way to say that our price should be at $XXXX because the US price is at $YYYY. Currency value/subsidies/transportation/freight/agribusiness structure/etc/etc. - the list goes on and on. Unless you have sat down and done an in depth analysis of the two prices over a certain period there is no way to say that all things being equal our wheat/durum price should have been $XXXX but the CWB screwed up and sold it all for less than that.
It is just very interesting to me that the CWB was just evil - doing everything wrong - but the grain companies are doing a fantastic job. All I have to do is have a visit, shake their hand, make best buds and now they are going to do everything they can to give me the best price they can.
Glad you guys enjoy grain marketing- to each his own. I will get it done reluctantly.
IMO, Your absolutely correct on that! My biggest beef is evening out the playing field north and south. Everyone was concerned about a lack of transparency while the WB was in place. Do you think it is anymore transparent now? Why are all prices hidden from farmers? Why do we have to phone around while are American neighbours have them posted? Like I said before, why do we have to pay more for weed chemicals, pay more for fuel and get paid less for our grain? Who runs this system in Canada anyway? Look at how transparently I can find prices in the US. Why not here so I can shop around? I have to sign into Richdarson's site to not even get what I want. These guys post it without shame!The market is the market. How could the CWB beat the market? How much clout do you think they had on the Minneapolis or Chicago futures. Have you followed corn and beans lately. Quote: "And as far as those feel good prices shortly after the WB was out of the way, you dont think it was to just bait the hook for a few years while the markets were good as well?" end quote. You've got to be kidding me. The really really sad part is you guys believe the CWB moved the market. You know what moved the market, production.
I'm not sure really who MGE got there numbers from, I would have thought it was through a few resources Stats Can being the major one. We have never been as accurate as the USDA in reporting here. Someone knows more than me on this I'm sure.I don't know enough to know but I heard an interesting point today. Bash this comment if you please, make no diff to me but what was said for the MGE was that people here question stats Canada and believe you have more wheat there than reported and with the CWB numbers "some say" were accurate leaving a nervousness about how much is up there. Rail here and there ain't helping prices either as both yours and our crops are behind still but catching up from the year before. Our dollar has been climbing crashing our prices and bringing everything down with them but fertilizer, chemicals, and seed are only going up. People here seem to be starting to panic that there is no end to this. I am looking forward to a new president but just hoping my farm can hold out until then. Curious to see what your thoughts are on this point made. Tell me if this is stupid. I promise I won't hold anything against ya
I would say even more! There is another player out of the way - CWB gone and CGC's mandate to protect and uphold producer's rights - Gone!! Slam the door and throw away the key! Pay for fee service now! Now you can hire your own advocate to try and get justice against a poor little grain company that just can't seem to make enough money. Noone else will protect you.We're dealing with the same buggers the CWB was and is, no question. And they're making a lot of money off of us now just as they were before.
It has nothing to do with how much sales pull the WB had on the global market, the thing is(so we are always told) that canadian wheat is the finest in the world, canadian wheat doesnt have to compete against all other wheat in every market. There are certain customers that desire the quality of canadian wheat, and some will never care.and the WB could hold it in ransom some years, waiting and knowing they will come around.?.. How much clout do you think they had on the Minneapolis or Chicago futures. Have you followed corn and beans lately...You know what moved the market, production.
Some very good points in there,
I just dont understand this thought process, that grain company x, company y, and company z are all going to be chasing you down bidding each other up for your grain. Will never happen. Its more likely that the big 5 compaines will all agree to not step on toes and use their analyists to determine our cost breaking points in each respective comunity. To keep us farmers in the game, grumbling, but not revolting.
Its the famous: push someone to the limit, then just back it off a knotch and let it ride.
Will we exist, yes, are we gonna get the full profits we deserve? Heck no! They will be getting the cream off the top. Of course they want us to do our own marketing, all the more complicated for us the better for them, they love it when folks sign up to their full fledged programs for marketing.
And as far as those feel good prices shortly after the WB was out of the way, you dont think it was to just bait the hook for a few years while the markets were good as well? I know thats what I would do if I wanted to make sure I would get the masses on my side. What is a year or two of normal profits, just to seal the deal for decades of rape. Do you guys not think the few grain co's all meet and talk regularly? The maltster purchasers do it to keep our barley price down.
When there was the complete rail breakdown, do you really think the grain co's had absolutely nothing to do with it as well? 'Com on, read between lines, they had no quams about it at all, no legal battles, and frankly no cares. They knew the grain was eventually gonna move thru them and by slamming the price down, would catch a few panic sellers or guys forced to sell because of payments. We have to sell grain to them, do you really think you are gonna hold grain for 3-5 years, waiting for your special price? Go ahead and pay for all that storage and risk, they are the ones that designed the pull type of marketing here anyway.
If you can move it, example: we just got a notification by email today, Viterra in Star, alberta is not taking any canola or wheat for Feb or March as they dont need any more. Everyones TPA's are cancelled and told to move to april or may(where the price is low and poor spring movement). Yep awesome marketing freedom right there folks!
During that whole rail fiasco, what was the price offered at the coast? I am willing to bet lunch it wasnt 50% off, like all of us were offered as farmers. But hey, we are not allowed to know the bid offers, yet our farming friends south of us are provided that information to keep grain co's honest.
I do agree, some farmers near the boarder are benefiting at the current time, but I truely wonder how long that will last?
Ok, so we get to now determine when, where, and for what price we are willing to sell our grain for. But that is all relative..
When: providing there is movement, and they are willing to accept contracts
where: do you have more then 1 or 2 terminals options withing your reasonable service area?
What price: ah yes, price? Its what ever you are willing to accept as their offer, the only marketing they are doing internationally is for themselves, you can bet your bottom dollar on that! And they will try to get your grain (or your neighbours) for as cheaply as possible. Because that is capitalism at its finest. If you really think its any other way, please educate me.
MGE is the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, trade base of hard red spring wheat so I am kind of referring to the traders in the wheat trading sectorI'm not sure really who MGE got there numbers from, I would have thought it was through a few resources Stats Can being the major one. We have never been as accurate as the USDA in reporting here. Someone knows more than me on this I'm sure.
What were we wrong about??? Have you got some damning evidence or verifiable facts that everyone else doesn't? I can say the same thing - you are wrong - then bring up evidence to support my position that you wouldn't agree with either. There were arguments on both side of the decision to dissolve the CWB and move to open market.Why so negative? If this is the way you and your "friends" here operate your businesses then it must be a very hopeless situation. Nothing is perfect but it is incumbent upon us to find solutions to our problems, not whine and dwell in the past. I just don't understand how some guys just can't admit when they were/are wrong about something....heck....you guys won't even gracefully admit defeat??? The monopoly thing is history, time to step into the next chapter of our life. Ever notice how the 90% on here that wanted the open market doesn't start threads constantly trying to rub it in to those who didn't agree with them? Those guys are looking forward, take some notes.
Also I can't help but feel that you would have grain companies making zero money if you had the choice. Don't they get some credit for investing huge sums of money in infrastructure to handle somewhat unreliable(weather) commodities and be at the whim of the only real monopoly in Western Canada...the railroads? Put yourself in someone else's shoes for a bit!
It has nothing to do with how much sales pull the WB had on the global market, the thing is(so we are always told) that canadian wheat is the finest in the world, canadian wheat doesnt have to compete against all other wheat in every market. There are certain customers that desire the quality of canadian wheat, and some will never care.and the WB could hold it in ransom some years, waiting and knowing they will come around.
That crack about the finest wheat in the world still irks me. They were playing all of us for a fool. And we were arrogant and ignorant enough (sort of goes hand in hand) to believe that hook, line and sinker.
What did they back that claim up with? Nada, Zip, Zilch. We didn't even know about protein spreads til the Wheat Growers talked it up for years and years. Too expensive to put a tester in every elevator they said. Falling numbers, who needs to know anything about that? How embarrassing for us, the producers. Did you ever think that the wheat board was holding wheat for certain preferred customers only because that customer figured out that time of year might be a lower priced time to buy wheat???!!! A quick easy sale, 2 or 3 cargoes and not much squabbling, so maybe throw in an extra point or two of protein for good measure. What magically makes my cwrs wheat superior to dark northern spring wheat grown in Great Falls, or Chester or Fort Benton or Bismark? Oh-- it must be the kvd fiasco that has cost us millions in reduced production cause our spring wheat has to look like spring wheat. Why don't you bring a tandem load of your spring wheat down to Montana. 6 or 7 hours you would be there. Sell it to one of half a dozen grain buyers. Maybe you would like to sell it to a co-operative, buy a membership and share in the profits. And then take a good look at your receipt. That load is analyzed 6 ways from Sunday. Bushel weight, protein, falling number, %frost if applicable,% of several other grading factors some of which I don't even understand cause it is abbreviated. But they know exactly what that loaf of bread will look like, baked in a commercial oven. And they deduct the cost of all those tests off of the check. My check. And premiums or deductions are added to or taken off of that check. The most important info is that then, they tell me all that information about that wheat. And today, information is power. Back to that best wheat in the world business. You tell a landlord his place is the poorest place you're farming, badly eroded, full of weeds, takes all you got and you still get sub standard yields. That will only make him mad at you and you probably wouldn't have it very long. Tell another landlord his place is the best place you've got and his chest will swell with pride and he will tell everyone he has got the best farmer in the county farming his land. Do you get my drift? We are all human and like to think what we do is somehow better than what anyone else does. I'm still waiting to hear if you went to farmtech or not. You might learn something about human nature there and how to be a better manager in todays world, instead of wishing for yesteryear. Or saying someone closer to the US border has it better than me. You get the equivalent of irrigation yields on dryland with virtually no risk of drought. I could fertilize for a huge crop and only get 15 bushels per acre. Who has indoctrinated you to think it has to all be equal/fair. Is it fair that you might have a huge net worth and a poor child born in Africa might be blind by the age of six by Vitamin A deficiency? Deficency that is totally preventable by GMO golden rice but greenpeace has convinced the world to shun that technology? Just give them vitamin pills instead, they say. How ridiculous. How arrogant. How ignorant. How sad.
Where as the WB would have looked at the big picture and tried to find a way to get some movement for everyone equally, protect the price as best they can, and keep customers. Not saying it always worked so clean and flawless, but that was the intension.
Do you really think the grain co's care if hard red hits $1.50/bu. in canada? Will they lobby the government for you?
I don't want the grain co's to lobby anyone for me. They make their living on handling our grain. They are good at it. Good for them. Let ACPC, Alberta Wheat, Western Canadian Wheat Growers lobby for me. That is what the checkoff is for. I support them. They understand me. That is who I want representing me. CIGI (Canadian International Grains Institute) has done a remarkable job of showing the world Canada still grows grain. Just imagine. How could those Canadians still be growing wheat without the all powerful wheat board instructing them on every facet of importance. What could the wheat board have told all those countries to make them think that Canadian wheat would not be available or the quality would disappear if the wheat board lost its monopoly. How arrogant. How ignorant. How sad.
Last but not least, Always do right; this will gratify some people, and astonish the rest. -quote from latest Furrow magazine-