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Pulse Market Insight #232

Weather is and always will be the dominant driver of crop markets. That’s obvious. All other factors – geopolitics, trade wars, government policy, hedge funds – take a back seat to rainfall and temperatures. This time of year is the most critical, as crops emerge and yield potential is already being determined.

While every growing season is different, western Canada has seen extremes in the past 3-4 years. In some areas, 2020 was already a drought year, which then widened and deepened in 2021. Most, but not all, areas saw relief in 2022. The 2023 growing season started with widespread concerns about dryness, especially in central and northern areas that are typically wetter at the beginning of the year. Just in the past week though, welcome rains fell in northwest Alberta and north central Saskatchewan. But that still leaves large parts of Alberta facing dry conditions as the crop emerges.

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Kim Anderson, OSU Extension grain marketing specialist, explains what time of the year is best to sell wheat.