Posts Tagged ‘Weather’

2011 CWB Producer Survey

Thursday, July 28th, 2011


Here is a summary of key points from the 2011 CWB Producer Survey:

Farmers’ biggest problems are unrelated to grain prices or marketing:

  • Input costs were seen as the biggest problem, concerning 91 per cent of respondents.
  • Transportation costs were the second biggest worry, rated a problem by 89%.
  • Weather conditions were third, seen as a problem by 85%.
  • Grain prices and lack of markets were identified as problems by less than 60%.

The CWB continues to have a strong support base among farmers:

  • 67% said they support the CWB (43% “strongly”), a similar level to last year.
  • 35% said their impression of the CWB is more favourable than two years ago, and only 12% said it was worse.
  • Even those who “somewhat oppose” the CWB said their impressions of it had improved. Only in the small group who “strongly oppose” the CWB did more people have a negative impression.
  • 73% agreed with the statement, “The CWB is doing a better job than it used to.”
  • Improved perceptions of the CWB were overwhelmingly linked to its provision of more pricing and marketing options for farmers.
  • 71% agreed that grain farmers have more influence over the CWB than a multinational
  • 66% said the CWB provides them with a sense of security
  • 63% disagreed with the statement “I would make more money if the CWB did not exist.”

A majority of farmer support the single desk for wheat:

  • 63% of those with an opinion said they prefer the CWB single desk over an open market for wheat. This is a drop from 2010 (69%), but above 2008 support levels.
  • 37% of all respondents preferred a single desk for barley, compared to 41% last year.

The CWB is perceived as making progress on farmers’ priorities:

  • Getting a premium price for Canadian wheat was the top farmer priority, ranked a “very high priority” by 84% of respondents. The CWB was seen as making progress in this area by 71%.
  • Getting new markets for Canadian wheat and maintaining its high-quality reputation were both very high priorities for 82%. The CWB was seen as making progress here by 75% and 85%, respectively.
  • Branding Canadian wheat in key markets as a unique, high-value product was a very high priority for 78%. The CWB was seen as making progress here by 79%.

Farmers overwhelmingly believe that size doesn’t matter:

  • 89% of respondent agreed that the CWB should care about landholders of all sizes. This belief was overwhelmingly shared by all farmers, regardless of their own farm size, including 77% of those farming more than 2,500 acres.

Fewer producers feel a sense of ownership of the CWB:

  • There was an even split between those who felt a sense of ownership over the CWB and those who did not. Last year, 59% said they felt a sense of ownership.
  • 60% rated the CWB as “excellent” or “fair” in being accountable to farmers, 62% thought it was open and transparent, while 68% thought it was honest in its communications with farmers.

As a producer, are you in agreement with these points?

Crop and weather update

Monday, July 11th, 2011

From Canola Council of Canada

Peace: Weather has been showery and cool, with temperatures rarely over 20 C. Wind is helping to dry out saturated fields. The north region has still not received meaningful precipitation. Most crops are at early bolt and bud stages.

Alberta: Crop is rapidly advancing with warm weather and good moisture. Spotty hail across the central region. Crop stage is anywhere from 2-leaf to 30% bloom across region. Alberta crop report.

Saskatchewan: Much needed heat has arrived. Scattered showers covered the province, with some flooding damage in western areas in addition to what had already occurred in the east. Canola staging ranges from 3-4 leaf to 40% flower. Saskatchewan crop report.

Manitoba: Rainfall this week as anywhere from zero to 1.5”, and hail hit some regions. Late seeded canola is at the cotyledon stage and the earliest is just flowering. The eastern side, in general, is further along than the west side. Manitoba crop report.

Crop and weather update

Friday, May 27th, 2011

From Canola Council of Canada

Peace (B.C. and Alberta): Canola seeding ranges from half to two thirds complete in the east, to 95% complete in the west. Most areas had some rain in the past week, except for the far north. Fairly regular showers are the reason for slower seeding progress in the east.

Alberta: Seeding is progressing well. Some areas are nearly complete. Others need up to a week to wrap up. Rains fell across most of southern and central Alberta in the past week, with over 2” in some areas. Frost was widespread in central Alberta, with some areas reporting as low as -6 C. Alberta crop report.

Saskatchewan: Canola seeding is near complete in west and northeast regions. Parts of the southeast have not started seeding due to excess moisture and continuing rains. Growers there are looking at new crop insurance deadlines, which are June 1 for some areas. Frost hit the north canola growing region, with lowest lows around -6 C. Rains fell across the south, which was welcome in the southwest but not at all in the southeast. Saskatchewan crop report.

Manitoba: Canola seeding progress ranges from nothing done in parts of the southwest to maybe half done in the south central region. The provincial average is probably 15-20% but this is hard to pin down since seeding is so sporadic. Only the northwest corner escaped rain in the past week. Many areas had light frost. Manitoba crop report.

AgroClimate Information Service gives farmers tools to plan

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

With over 270 weather stations across Alberta giving daily or hourly reading on various weather observations, Alberta farmers have access to interactive tools through the ACIS website to help long-term planning and decision making based on current and past weather trends. Using maps to capture statistics and trends, some going back as far as 50 years, the information can be used to improve risk assessment for flood and drought forecasting, water use efficiency strategies, insect and disease modeling and even for crop insurance purposes.

The hourly and daily observations include:

Precipitation (273 stations)

Temperature (269 stations)

Humidity (180 stations)

Solar radiation (73 stations)

Two metre wind speed (132 stations)

Two metre wind direction (67 stations)

Ten metre wind speed and direction (111 stations)

Soil moisture and temperature (36 stations)

Snow depth (25 stations)

There are over 3000 maps of weather and climate related information to view that provide you with useful data to manage your farm.  Click here to visit the site and let us know what you think.

Precipitaion Map

Precipitaion Map

Conflicting weather forecasts

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Here’s an early season test of weather forecasts. On Monday, the Environment Canada forecast sounded quite favourable. There was 30 to 60 per cent chance of some showers for some of the days later in the week for a number of locations, but it didn’t sound like very much precipitation. By contrast, World Weather Inc. issued a forecast Monday morning that sounded quite ominous. While calling for a pleasant start to the week with a few scattered showers, the Kansas-based forecasting service was calling for a winter storm to slam the Prairies later in the week. The storm, moving from Alberta across Saskatchewan and Manitoba was forecast to start as rain and then switch to snow with significant amounts of both over a large region. World Weather Inc. did note that this was an early forecast and there was still time for the projected path and the precipitation amounts to be adjusted. It’ll be interesting to see today’s forecasts from both Environment Canada and World Weather Inc. A lot of producers subscribe to World Weather Inc. reports by Sean Rocheford and Drew Lerner and they’ve proven to be quite accurate in past years. Here’s hoping this time they’re wrong. A storm is the last thing we need right now.
I’m Kevin Hursh.

Need help seeding? Book DynAgra’s floater and get growing!

Weather advice

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Drew Lerner with World Weather Incorporated out of Topeka, Kansas spoke last night to over 500 people attending the Special Session of Crop Production Week in Saskatoon. There were lots of charts and graphs and weather theories, but there were also take home messages from the presentation. Lerner predicts cool weather in the early spring will hamper drying even though precipitation in that time frame may be relatively light. Of course, the extremely wet conditions in the eastern prairies will make it tough to seed a lot of last year’s flooded acres. Lerner says don’t wait for optimum seeding conditions or you may miss your opportunity. Expect regular rain throughout the summer. June and early July may see some warm conditions, but we may lose the heat in the late summer. Harvest will not be as wet as 2010, but there will still be dodge ball harvesting as we try to work around showers. Overall, despite a wet bias in the summer, Drew Lerner is predicting that we’ll have a better growing season. What about global warming? Lerner says the people who believe so fervently in global warming should realize there are a lot of factors at work including the intensity of the sun and the direction of the arctic oscillation. As last night’s crowd demonstrated, we sure like to talk about the weather.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.

Harvest answers

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

If the weather forecast is correct, we’re finally going to get a spell of good harvest weather. Whether the results are good or bad, harvest progress will gradually help end all the uncertainty. What sort of yield is actually out there? How badly has quality been hurt by the wet weather? How severe is the frost damage? Is there going to be a crop insurance claim? Results to date show a huge range in quantity and quality over just a short distance. It’s hard to build a marketing plan when you don’t know what you have to work with. In some cases, producers are worried about meeting their contract requirements for crops that have been pre-sold. In other cases, producers will be looking at crop processing such as colour sorting in an effort to improve quality. Every producer lives in dread that when good harvesting weather finally arrives, untimely equipment breakdowns will cause further delays. It’ll feel good to make some substantial progress rather than just a few hours here and there. Uncertainty is hard on the nerves.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.

Tornado Time

Monday, July 26th, 2010

As unpredictable as the weather in Western Canada is, Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. This month was marked with some heavy storms, a few resulting in serious damage due to tornados. In early July, a tornado touched down near Raymore SK, creating a mess to a few farms.

Damage from a tornado near Raymore, SK, July 2010

Damage from a tornado near Raymore, SK, July 2010

Closer to home, an enormous funnel cloud recently covered the skies outside of Calgary, AB. The following picture was taken at the DynAgra Beiseker yard on July 25th.

Funnel Cloud in Beiseker, July 25th 2010

Funnel Cloud in Beiseker, July 25th 2010

Top agricultural events of ‘09

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The top nine of ’09 has a nice ring, but the big agricultural events of the year actually fall into just five broad categories. In agriculture, weather is usually a big story and it certainly was in ’09. The Saskatchewan crop had more lives than an alley cat. Despite drought, delayed maturity, the threat of frost and an extremely late harvest, the crop was above average overall and absolutely stellar in some regions. The flip side of the equation and number two on the list is the big drop in grain prices, particularly on the cereals. After record high prices in ’08, many crops have dropped back to disappointing levels. There are still some profitable crops, particularly lentils and canola, but the year ahead is uncertain. Profitability will likely depend on growing the right crops and having an astute marketing plan. The number 3 story of the year is the crop export barriers that have emerged. Europe has restricted our flax and China has restricted our canola exports. Even a visit by our Prime Minister wasn’t enough to change Chinese policy. Which commodity will be the next to run into a trade barrier? I’ll talk about number 4 and number 5 on the list on tomorrow’s commentary. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Largest weather network in Western Canada

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The Canadian Wheat Board’s partnership with WeatherBug has evolved into a service that will be very useful to producers. This private weather network, linking on-farm monitoring stations was launched two years ago. I’ve checked it out on-line a couple of times and I was underwhelmed. Now, the CWB and WeatherBug have launched a website at and it does provide a unique service. The 700 field stations are linked via the Internet and you can get real time data from any of the weather stations. Most producers will be pretty close to at least one of the stations so the information will be pertinent. You can see the temperature, wind speed and wind direction at any given moment. You can also look back at the weather variables from previous hours, days or weeks. WeatherBug is now installing lightning detection sensors, which will detect cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning activity. This should allow for advanced detection and alerts of severe weather. With the network that’s been established, all sorts of additional features should be possible. To check it out, just log onto and fill out the little bit of registration information that’s required. I’m Kevin Hursh.