This past week I addressed the feeder cattle association of Alberta in Red Deer, with nearly 400 people attending. The big issue of the week was whether the U.S. was going to pass the country-of-origin legislation. The Canadians were holding their collective breath because they could lose a considerable part of their market.

It is still extremely dry in the province with little chance for snowfall in the near future.

Some producers commented that a number of tons of corn were coming from the U.S. that would reduce their feed costs and making them very competitive.

Layoffs and the recession are starting to hit Canada. Some Canadian experts are saying that the currency exchange could go as low as 50¢ to a dollar if the U.S. economy rebounds. It would make vacationing in Canada a good possibility.

Here’s a great quote from one of my bankers at a recent conference in Michigan.

"The typical consumer in the future is going to want food products with the following characteristics:"

  • Heat and Eat

  • Whip and Chill

  • Pop and Serve

  • Rip and Sniff

The next time we think about marketing agricultural products, we must keep this in mind and also realize that 46% of meals are eaten outside the home, up from 32% in 1990. Also, the developed country consumer will only spend eight minutes per day preparing food.

Things To Think On:

  • Will the "press" allow Bob Knight to be Coach of the Year!?!
  • Why can’t the Super Bowl always be just one week from the last playoff game, just as it was this year? It reduces the hype and increases the quality of the game. Great Game! And what a team spirit. But I am sure none of you missed it.
My e-mail address is: sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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