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Agriculture This Week: Great farm year passes and '23 awaits

It just all adds up to a holiday season where farmers have to be rather happy about what has just passed and what is likely coming next.
A good year for farming, at least in terms of grain prices, looks to be ahead in 2023.

YORKTON - We are the eve of that time in the year when old calendars are turfed and new ones are hung.

Well, that I suppose is more memory of the recent past than reality these days with most opting for the calendars on their laptops or cellphones.

I am of an age though where I recall a calendar hanging in most every room in the home, not that it was hard to do as almost every business handed out promotional calendars at this time of year.

It was not unusual for grandpa being sent on an errand to collect a calendar from a particular business after grandma had seen a calendar at a neighbor’s she thought would be perfect in one spot or another in their house.

So while I digress down memory lane a little, the time of year is largely about reflection, looking back on the last 12 months, although I recall grandpa noting more than once it didn’t matter because you can’t change the past.

For the most part the farm sector, at least in large parts of the Prairies probably would not change anything in 2022.

The year was the rare perfect storm for farmers, with generally good yields – better than many had expected – a good weather for fall to get the grain in the bin, and the best prices ever on most crops.

What that all comes together as is a year which is historically significant with many suggesting it is the best of their careers and others at least in agreement it is in the top few years they’ve ever had.

It would be hard to imagine you could hop in a time machine and go back to improve much about 2022, at least for grain and oilseed producers.

It has admittedly not been as good for livestock producers, impacted of course by the higher cost of feed.

And while we do spend time in reflection on the year that was it’s hard not to pause to look ahead to the next 12 months.

Again for grain producers the optimism has to be fairly high.

Yes, there is a realization input costs are going to be high, but with the war in Ukraine ongoing, and worries about what Russian leader Vladimir Putin might do next still high, prices are not likely to crash. They might decline but not likely to the point returns won’t be good.

And while crops are not made on the moisture from snow, there is at least a cover of the white stuff in most areas to at least get the next crop growing.

It just all adds up to a holiday season where farmers have to be rather happy about what has just passed and what is likely coming next.


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