Over the past several years, high cereal and canola prices have brought growers a good return on their investment. The prices have been better than what growers could have even imagined a decade ago. As a result, net farm incomes have been higher and growers have enjoyed the benefits.
In 2012, droughts, storms and other weather events combined to make grain, cereal and pulse production particularly challenging for farmers around the world. There was an upshot, though: those with a crop to sell had a relatively easy time doing so throughout late 2012 and much of 2013. Forward sales were easy to find, basis levels were wonderfully narrow or even, imagine, slightly positive, and profit margins were healthy for most of the major and minor crops. Many farmers were able to pick up the phone to make a sale and deliver it a week later.