The News & What it Means – How We Choose the News

By John DePutter & Dave Milne – August 11, 2021


This is a good time to remind readers of the purpose of our morning reports.

Good Morning Prairies is a round-up of the previous day’s headlines and overnight news. Every morning, you get the straight goods. Sometimes you might not like the straight goods, but that’s what a news round-up is all about.

DePutter Publishing Ltd. produces other products, too. For example, the Market Advisory Service (MAS).  This service is very different from the morning reports. It offers our opinions, market analysis and marketing recommendations.

Good Morning Prairies editors don’t pick and choose. They report the news as it’s delivered.

In the wake of our coverage of Agriculture Canada’s latest 2021-22 supply-demand estimates released July 20, the reaction from some Prairie farmers was swift.

How could we possibly report Ag Canada’s unrealistic forecast of a Canadian canola crop of 19.88 million tonnes, amid record-breaking heat and dryness that had reduced some crop forecasts to below 17 million?

How could a canola crop of almost 20 million tonnes be remotely possible when farmers were watching their crops burn up in the field? When other farm media, and even mainstream media outlets, were reporting the damage as well?

Why did we circulate the Agriculture Canada report?

First, let us readily acknowledge we knew the Ag Canada projections – not just for canola, but also for other crops – were too high. In fact, the government analysts themselves suggested downside potential.

Often times, the government numbers are pretty close to the mark. But on this occasion, we knew from producers and other first-hand sources that Prairie crops were in deep trouble and unlikely to yield anywhere near what the government was projecting. Provincial crop and weather reports told a similar story. Indeed, our morning reports carried a wealth of stories that universally pointed to sharp downgrades.

Just because we don’t agree with certain government numbers doesn’t mean we should not report them.

Agriculture Canada’s supply-demand estimates are a source of information among grain traders worldwide. The government report was circulating throughout the media outlets. It was our job to include it.

It is the same for the USDA reports. There are plenty of US analysts and traders who have vehemently disagreed with what that government agency has had to say on matters ranging from stocks to production. But the market reacts to the information, regardless. We’re not going to withhold the information from our readers just because we disagree with it or are sure it’s off-base.

Lots of times, farmers contact us to tell us they take issue with a certain news story and that’s fine – we in the DePutter offices often disagree with certain contents.

For the most part, these are not our own stories – we are merely delivering them to Good Morning Prairies subscribers. That’s our job.

Additionally, it should be noted that our coverage of the Ag Canada supply-demand estimates did contain disclaimers that the numbers did not reflect the full extent of the drought damage and would likely be revised lower in future reports.

Key message: It is sometimes the nature of news to anger and frustrate. However, in our morning reports, we don’t pick and choose which to include in our reports and which to hold back.

The purpose of the morning reports is to keep you informed.

Good Morning Prairies provides a compilation of news. It’s important to understand that the stories featured are not a bunch of carefully hand-picked items that are in line with the thinking of the DePutter analysts.

Quite simply, Good Morning Prairies is a news service to help you keep updated on all things agricultural – the good, the bad and the ugly. The filters are off.

To emphasize this and put it in other words: The morning reports represent a summary of various news stories that are available on the internet. In this regard, we’re acting as what you might describe as “news aggregators.”

Our weekly Market Advisory Service (MAS) newsletter is different. Here you will find the opinions and analysis of the DePutter team.

To wit, in the DePutter MAS newsletter following the release of the Ag Canada supply-demand estimates, we presented a far more realistic scenario which stated that actual 2021 Canadian canola production would come in well below the Ag Canada number.

This in-depth advisory service puts our recommendations on the line. It offers ideas on whether to sell or not sell and includes our own personal bullish or bearish biases.

This is where you find our comments on such things as what the futures charts might be hinting, the direction in which the fundamental forces are tilted and ideas on whether or not to make sales.

If you want all the news, the DePutter morning reports (Good Morning Prairies, E-Morning Ontario) are the place to get it. Many readers of these reports routinely say this is the most-timely coverage of agricultural market news they can find.

If you want our carefully considered perspective and opinions, then turn to the DePutter MAS newsletter.

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