Numbers aren’t everything, but they sure help cut through the hype.
  



LeftField Commodity Research provides independent insight and analysis for Canadian grain, oilseed and special crop markets. Our goal is to produce value for clients by drawing together information sources, revealing what is important and presenting solid market insight. Our core business is crop market analysis and economic research projects.

At LeftField, we understand the power of knowledge and data to provide answers or simply to provoke discussion. We sift through many sources of numbers, news, reports and other information and boil it down for clients to improve the efficiency of their decision-making. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we provide ideas and suggestions to help improve clients’ bottom lines. If we don’t accomplish that, we’re not doing our job.


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notes from LeftField

  • Rail Rant

    It may be heresy to say so, but I’m not a fan of last year’s federal government action on rail service. Putting a spotlight on the problem probably helped kickstart grain shipping, but the cynic in me thinks the legislation’s timing in April actually had more to do with increasing rail movement. The problem with almost any government action is there are unintended negative consequences. Take for example the legislation to limit cell phone contracts to two years. Sounded good but the phone companies simply charged more for phones and the net impact was zero. The rail legislation pushed more cars to Vancouver and Thunder Bay but left other parts of the industry seriously under-served. Just ask shippers of oats and flax to the US or producer car loaders how badly the ham-handed legislation hurt their business. One thing needed is an independent clearinghouse of all rail orders and car availability. Yes I realize that requires more government legislation, but it would improve on last year’s whack-a-mole approach that started the unproductive spitting match between grain handlers and grain movers that helps no one.

  • If GMO Opponents Win
    I'm starting to fear the GMO opponents are winning the day. As more and more food manufacturers in the US and elsewhere pander to the forces of "marketing" and take advantage of consumer ignorance, the momentum against GMOs is growing. This is despite the complete lack of scientific proof of harm from GMOs. The latest move is Russia's consideration of a ban on GMO production in the entire country. Unfortunately the activists seize on these type of announcements as "proof" of problems with the GMOs and the vicious cycle of misinformation continues to build. So what will happen if this trend continues? Conventional agriculture will be booted to the sidelines and become a niche in itself. For consumers, this would mean a 40% increase in pesticides used on crops, lower yields and more videos of famine in various parts of the world. I hope the activists are okay with this outcome because it's the logical end of their irrational and ideological opposition to GMOs.
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