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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 June 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017

Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT July 3.69  08 cents
Soybeans CBOT July 9.19  13 cents
Wheat CBOT July 4.65  22 cents
Wheat Minn. July 6.49  22 cents
Wheat Kansas July 4.68  11 cents
Chicago Oats July 2.59  04 cents
Canadian $ September 0.7525  0.25 points

Harvest 2017 prices as of the close, June 21 are as follows:

SWW @ $219.48/MT ($5.97/bu), HRW @ $217.05/MT ($5.91/bu),
HRS @ $267.34/MT ($7.28/bu), SRW @ $217.05/MT ($5.91/bu)

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Market Trends Report for June-July 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

It is a critical time of the year for grain markets. Across the US corn belt as well as Ontario, farmers have been planting since mid April. It continues. As of May 28th 91% of US corn has been planted and 67% of US soybeans. There are wide variations on this theme as the Eastern and Southern corn belt has seen more of its share of wet weather causing many planting delays. As we move into late June it is a time where the US crop is setting up to be made and marketing decisions for that crop are accentuated by market volatility. The June 9th USDA report gave us another indication of the supply of grain in the US and around the world.

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