La Niña weather condition map

La Niña is coming: Here’s what it means for commodity markets

MCHENRY, Ill. — If the La Niña weather phenomenon that’s forming in the equatorial Pacific Ocean reaches fruition, be prepared for wild commodity market rides.

La Niña impacts weather patterns worldwide and is associated with cooler, wetter conditions along the U.S.-Canadian border and warmer, drier conditions in much of the southern U.S. The phenomenon is caused by cooler Pacific water.

There’s no guarantee the La Niña will form, but if it does Erik Norland, CME Group executive director and senior economist, is concerned about the current agricultural markets.

“Corn, wheat and soy complex options implied volatilities are trading at or near record lows. This might mean that markets are woefully unprepared for a potential La Niña that would bring a wave of volatility,” he said in an Allendale Inc.-hosted webinar. Read more

cover crop photo

Farm Show demo digs deep on value of soil health

Roots, worm casts and different cover blends show amazing effects Source: Country Guide, written by Ralph Pearce. Soil health has been a buzz phrase that’s gone from a whisper three to five years ago to a chorus that’s spreading across the agrifood industry. That goes to show the swinging of the pendulum away from plowing […]

Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC)

Jobs survey finds growing demand for agriculture graduates

Ontario Agriculture College boosts spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent

Written by John Greig, Field Editor, Country Guide

The University of Guelph continues to increase enrollment in its agriculture programs, but graduates will continue to find four jobs available for each of them.

The Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), at the university has boosted spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent since 2012 and by 50 per cent in its Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program.

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

However, in the five years since the university last did a similar survey, respondents in agriculture and food processing say they have even more trouble filling jobs in the sector than they did five years ago – 67 per cent of agriculture companies and 51 per cent of food companies report difficulties in recruiting qualified workers. That compares to 40 per cent of agriculture and 28 per cent of food companies reporting similar challenges in 2012. Read more