Oh Canada! Perspectives

I spent this past week in Ontario, Canada, avoiding the SARS epidemic and meeting with Royal Bank and its agricultural customers.

It’s interesting to see the number of people wearing masks in the airport. Very few people were going through customs.

The stronger Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar is now starting to cut into cash flows of Canadian producers. The Canadian economy appears to be booming along at a much stronger pace than the American economy.

It’s very dry in Western Ontario and all crops, including soybeans, corn and tobacco, could be potentially stressed.

While the Canadian government was against the war in Iraq, the every day citizens are a bit more neutral about the subject. It appears that Paul Martin, the Alan Greenspan of Canada, is in position to become the new Prime Minister next year. This should provide a much more favorable financial alliance for America.

South of the Border

I attended an interesting conference discussing food trends in America. The average American is eating 4.3 times a day and up to 30 percent of the population is eating six times. It’s called meal demise, snack arise!

Terms such as surf and graze describe the generation Nexters who lack the family structure and life, and are looking for ways to fill the gap between the refrigerator, the computer and the cell phone. Some of these people eat up to 16 times per day.

The mobile dining room, i.e. the car, has required auto makers to design vehicles that are more dining friendly. Cup holders and placement is one of the top five of attributes consumers find important in auto design.

By the way, the next time you have a Cinnabon, you’ve just grazed for 730 calories.

Interesting Air Story

The lights went out on a Wyoming airport’s runway just as we were about to land. We circled the airport for 20 minutes to get them back on. We landed again and they went out as we touched down. The pilot finished the landing in the dark because he wanted to refuel so he could get a T-shirt for meeting fuel quota. Only in America!

Top Snack Time of Day

Favorite Time

Morning: 45%

Snack Bars/Granola Dairy Products Crackers Cookies Chips/Pretzels/Leftover Pizza

Afternoon: 57%

Chips/Pretzels Popcorn/Seed Nuts Cookies Crackers Snack Bars/Granola

Evening: 74%

Popcorn/Seed Nuts Chips/Pretzels Cookies Fresh Fruit/Veggies Crackers

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and 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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