GFM Network News


Canadian, U.S. farms face crop losses on foreign worker delays

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — Mandatory coronavirus quarantines of seasonal foreign workers in Canada could hurt that country’s fruit and vegetable output this year, and travel problems related to the pandemic could also leave U.S. farmers with fewer workers than usual. Foreign labour is critical to farm production in both countries, where domestic workers shun the […] Read more

The big question facing the beef industry and the economy as a whole is how quickly they will recover after the coronavirus threat has passed.

The cruelty of the coronavirus

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The start of the new decade held much promise, whether it was for the global economy or prospects of an even bigger trade with China for North American livestock producers. Much of that promise has been cruelly shattered, at least temporarily, by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) that emerged in central China and made its way […] Read more



How COVID-19 is upending global food supply chains

Cows fed strawberries in India, watermelons rot in U.S., okra not reaching Canada

Satara/Singapore/London | Reuters — In the fertile Satara district in western India, farmers are putting their cattle on an unorthodox diet: Some feed iceberg lettuce to buffalo. Others feed strawberries to cows. It’s not a treat. They can either feed their crops to animals or let them spoil. And other farmers are doing just that […] Read more


Ontario drops weed from essentials list

Officials call for further intervention

Reuters — Ontario’s government on Friday removed cannabis from a list of essential businesses allowed to operate during the lockdown, as part of its efforts to further restrict contact amid a deepening coronavirus crisis. The move comes after health officials projected 80,000 COVID-19 coronavirus cases and about 1,600 deaths by month end under current policies, […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Hog futures hit 17-1/2-year low

Cattle also sink as virus measures disrupt markets

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. hog futures fell on Friday to the lowest point since late 2002 on tumbling pork prices and slowing slaughter rates as measures to control the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic shuttered schools and restaurants and sent U.S. unemployment rates soaring. Cattle futures also dropped as wholesale beef and cash feedlot cattle prices […] Read more


U.S. grains: Wheat firms after four-day slide

Corn hits 3-1/2-year low

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures rose on Friday, bouncing after a four-day slide, as traders weighed the threat of a deep economic downturn due to the coronavirus epidemic against supply tensions in some exporting countries. Corn extended a six-day drop, with May futures hitting the lowest for a most-active contract since September 2016, […] Read more

U.S. grains: Wheat tumbles on weak export sales, recession fears

Corn, soybeans rise on crude oil rally, but end mixed

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday, extending prior-day losses that were the worst in 7-1/2 months as weak U.S. export sales data stoked concerns about the coronavirus pandemic destroying demand. Soybeans and corn ended mixed as early short-covering and spillover support from sharply higher crude oil […] Read more


Alberta’s provincial meat inspectors to train for federal duty

Provincial inspectors to be seconded to CFIA-inspected packers

Provincial meat inspectors in Alberta could soon be seconded to federally inspected packing plants under a new work-sharing arrangement between the province and Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The federal and Alberta governments announced Wednesday they would partner to “increase food inspector capacity” in the province and thus “ensure the continuous operation of Alberta’s food supply […] Read more

CBOT weekly outlook: Pandemic drives Chicago prices lower

MarketsFarm — The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to pressure U.S. markets, including the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), according to Scott Capinegro, president of Barrington Commodities at Barrington, Ill. “It’s like that movie Groundhog Day. You wake up and it’s the same thing every day,” Capinegro said. There’s a domino effect in the grain industry […] Read more