Fall good time to buy fertilizer

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Farmers are better off buying fertilizer in fall or winter rather than waiting until spring 90 percent of the time, according to Alberta Agriculture.

The department has tracked urea, ammonia and phosphate prices for the past 10 years.

“There has only been one year, and that was in 2008, that spring prices were lower than fall-winter prices,” said Jennifer Stoby, an agricultural input market analyst with Alberta Agriculture.

She encouraged farmers to talk with their retailers this fall about their upcoming needs, especially for nitrogen fertilizers.

“With lower crop prices, guys have been hesitant to buy fertilizer and not really making any decisions,” said Stoby. “If they do wait until spring, there might be some problems actually even getting product.”

Growers who haven’t pre-bought product have faced supply shortages for the last few years, and it could be the same scenario next year.

“Retails aren’t bringing in nearly as much product just to have on hand the same as they have in the past,” said Stoby.

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Photo of corn harvesting

North American Harvest Report

Too much of a good thing?

A publication of BMO Capital Markets Economic Research • Douglas Porter, CFA, Chief Economist

Seldom is there a dull moment in the agriculture business. Only two short years ago, crop prices in North America were flirting with all-time highs after several years of lacklustre growing conditions were capped by the worst U.S. drought in 25 years. Today, prices are mining new lows under the weight of a second huge harvest. But, while lower crop prices are good news for food processors, livestock producers, and consumers, they are also taking a bite out of farmers’ bottom lines.

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Brazilian farmers planting soybeans at half the average pace

From  Soybean and Corn Advisor: Nov. 4, 2014

With the soil moisture improving across much of Brazil, most farmers are actively plating their 2014/15 soybean crop. The rainfall in Mato Grosso has been adequate in some areas and lighter than desired in other areas. The rainfall though has been lighter as you move east into states like Goias, Bahia, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais. In southern Brazil the soil moisture remains very favorable with too much rain in fact in parts of Rio Grande do Sul. The forecast looks favorable for more rainfall over the next two weeks in the more western areas of Brazil, but still dryer than desired for the more eastern areas.

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Reduce production costs without sacrificing yield

Falling commodity prices mean growers are concerned with their profit per acre. Input costs have remained high and have not adjusted to where farmers believe they should be. Until prices change, strategic adjustments will have to be made to stay profitable during lower commodity pricing years. Thompsons has identified 5 ways to help you reduce production costs without sacrificing yield.

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loonie piggy bank image

Canadian dollar sinks below 88 cents as Saudis cut oil to $77 a barrel

U.S. produced more oil than Saudi Arabia last month

By Pete Evans, CBC News – November 4, 2014

The Canadian dollar today sank to its lowest level in five years as Saudi Arabia moved to slash its price for the type of oil used in much of North America to its lowest level since September 2010.

Late Monday, Saudi Arabia said it would start selling its oil in the U.S. market for the cheapest price it has offered in more than four years.

The loonie was down 0.41 of a cent to 87.63 US at the close of trading.

Oil prices have fallen sharply this year, particularly in recent months — the U.S. contract was trading at $100 a barrel as recently as July.

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