by: Darrell Stokes
(Hussar, AB) In 1973 I received over $6 for a bushel of #1 wheat. That was when a brand new Massey combine sold for about $30,000. Expenses like fertilizer, fuel, chemical, insurance, overhead and so on, were much less in 1973 of course, so a likely profit on that bushel would have been around $4.
NEWS FLASH: 43 years later farmers are still receiving $6 for that bushel of wheat. The profit would be closer to $2 per bushel.
Somehow, farmers have been led to believe that $6 – $8 is a good price for 60 pounds of #1 Wheat, and we should be thankful to the open market for its munificence. Let’s not forget that $6 in 1973, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to over $30 in 2016.
Now maybe the world wheat market would collapse if Canadian farmers were paid what their product was actually worth. My expectation is not $30 for my bushel of wheat, however, it seems to me it should be somewhat closer to its value.
I wonder what the grain industry actually gets for my $6 bushel of wheat when they put it on a boat at the West Coast. They won’t tell us. How much more than $6 do you think it might be?