Views From Canada

My quick trip to Swift Current and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, with a stop over in Calgary, Alberta, was an encounter with a snowstorm and typical delays with AirCanada. However, once I made it to my destination in Calgary, Delta SkyWest was able to get me through check-in, security and customs in four minutes to make my final destination in Salt Lake City, despite long lines.

Discussions with the Canadians found some interesting perspectives and one common question:

The beef and livestock producers are doing quite well. Most admit that the closing of the Canadian border was a blessing. This allowed them to develop their processing industry and find new niche markets outside the U.S.

The BSE challenge has been met head-on with the refinement of a livestock identification system that is much further advanced than the U.S.

The livestock producers are importing cheaper corn from the U.S., which is keeping them profitable.

The grain sector is suffering with high fuel and energy cost in a world marketplace with revenue compression.

You thought fuel prices were high in the U.S. Gasoline is $4.86/gal. in western Canada. Ouch.

Political scandals abound with the previous administration.

Most common question I was asked: What is going to happen to U.S. government farm supports?

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

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

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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