Table of contents

    1. Seven Steps to Better Marketing
    2. Understanding supply factors for agricultural products
    3. How demand and supply determine market price
    4. How exchange rates affect agricultural markets
    5. How interest rates affect agricultural markets
    6. How to use charting to analyse commodity markets
    7. Agriculture marketing clubs
    8. Commodity futures markets
    1. Economics and Marketing – Choosing a Commodity Broker
    2. Margin on futures contracts
    3. Options on futures – an introduction
    4. Using hedging to protect farm product prices
    5. Canola futures contract
    1. Introduction to crop marketing
    2. Basis – How cash grain prices are established
    3. Grain marketing decision grid
    4. Price pooling – How it works
    5. Crop contracts
    6. Grain storage as a marketing strategy
    7. Using producer cars to ship prairie grain
    8. Using frequency charts for marketing decisions
    9. Western Canadian grain catchment
    10. Barley and wheat marketing resources
    11. Wheat basis levels
    12. Wheat quality and protein matters
    13. Wheat pricing considerations
    14. Marketing oats in Canada
    15. US Crops – Where Are They Grown?
    1. Introduction to livestock marketing
    2. Understanding and using basis levels in cattle markets
    3. Forward contracting of cattle
    4. Understanding dressing percentage of slaughter cattle
    5. Understanding the cattle market sliding scale
    6. Predicting feeder cattle prices
    7. Breakeven analysis for feeder cattle
    8. Farm gate values for farm-raised vs purchased calves
    9. Wool marketing in Canada
    10. Marketing feeder lambs
    1. Turf and forage seed trade companies active in the Peace Region
    2. History of creeping red fescue production in the Peace River Region
    3. Alfalfa seed marketing in Canada
    4. Forage seed marketing
    5. Marketing creeping red fescue
    6. Faba bean
    7. Marketing compressed hay
    1. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – A, B
    2. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – C
    3. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – D, E
    4. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – F, G
    5. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – H, I, J, K
    6. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – L, M
    7. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – N, O
    8. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – P, Q, R
    9. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – S
    10. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – T, U
    11. Agricultural Marketing Glossary – V, W
    12. Other Marketing Related Glossaries


Paper Profit or Loss - The profit or loss that would have occurred if certain futures or options contracts, opened or filled at a known price or certain date, had been offset at a certain price or on a certain date.


  • Refers to the standard delivery point, delivery points, or delivery area where a commodity is deliverable on a futures contract at the actual futures contract price. For example the "par" area for ICE Futures Canada canola futures is within approximately 150 km in any direction of Saskatoon.
  • Par also serves as a standard on which to base discounts or premiums for varying quality and other delivery locations. Par canola for ICE Futures Canada canola futures is "non-commercially clean Canadian canola with maximum dockage of 8%; all other specifications to meet No. 1 canola at par."

Pelt - Unprocessed sheepskin.

Pencil Shrink or Shrinkage - The percent of shrink taken on direct sales of feeder or slaughter cattle or lambs and negotiated between the seller and the buyer. Pencil shrink is a calculated, not a measured amount, of shrink. Pencil shrink attempts to account for the weight loss that occurs during shipment from the seller's facility to the buyer's facility. The amount is subtracted from weights taken at or near the seller's facility to give the sale or pay weight.

Per Capita - Per person.

Per Capita Disappearance - Total production of a particular type of meat plus imports and less exports, all expressed in carcass weight, divided by total population. Per capita disappearance (PCD) is not a good indicator of actual meat consumption since it is based on carcass weight. PCD, which is also be used to describe consumption of other food products, is being replaced by retail weight equivalent consumption measures.

Pit – A specially constructed area on the trading floor of some commodity exchanges where trading in futures or options takes place. Some exchanges use rings rather than pits. Trading in the pit is by open outcry. Commodity exchanges, that use electronic trading, do not have pits and do not use open outcry. See "open outcry" and "electronic trading."

Position – Holding long or short futures or options contracts. For example, a barley grower would take a short "position" when selling Barley futures as a hedge.

Pre-Conditioning - A process where feeder calves have been vaccinated, castrated, and weaned for 30-45 days prior to sale date and are used to feeding from a bunk and drinking from waterers. In Alberta individual producers and certain feedlots have entered into preconditioning agreements.


  1. The amount that the price of a certain futures contract is above another futures contract, usually for the same commodity. For example "July futures are at a premium over May."
  2. The quality of a spot commodity over the quality of another spot commodity.
  3. The amount that the cash price for a commodity trades over its futures price.
  4. See also "options premium."

Price or To Price – To lock in a final price for a product that will be delivered or that has already been delivered to a buyer.

Priced – A situation where the selling price for a product has been agreed upon between the buyer and seller. Sometimes referred to as "locked in." See also "unpriced."

Price Inflation Index - An index used to remove the effect of inflation from an historical sequence of prices.

Price Limit - The maximum price movement, up or down, allowed for a futures contract during one day's trading session, established by the rules of the exchange. The price limit is the amount above or below the previous day's closing price. See also "closing price."

Primals - Major muscle groups into which a carcass is subdivided for wholesale distribution. In Canada the beef primals are the chuck, brisket/shank, rib, loin, sirloin, hip, and flank. Boxed beef is shipped as primals or sub-primals.

Private Treaty Sales - See "direct sales."

Producer Car - A rail grain-car that is assigned to, loaded directly by, and shipped by a producer. Producers apply to the Canadian Grain Commission to have a car allocated to them. Both the CWB and private companies will handle administrative details for producer cars. Producer cars are different from dealer cars, which are producer-loaded but which are allocated directly to grain companies. See "dealer car."

Producer Payment Price or Producer Pool Price - Average Index 100 price of all hog sales arranged by the Western Hog Exchange, the marketing section of Alberta Pork, over a Monday through Friday period.

Public Market - See "auction market."

Purchase and Sale Statement - A statement sent by a futures commission merchant to a customer when the customer's futures and/or options position has changed. It shows the number of contracts involved and the price at which the position was opened or closed. Also shown is the gross profit or loss, the commission charged, and the net profit or loss on the transaction. Frequently referred to as a "P and S statement."

Put Option - A financial contract giving the buyer of the option the right, but not the requirement, to sell a futures contract at a certain price level on or before a specified expiration date. See "call option."


Quota - In international trade, quotas are volume limits placed on the importation of specified commodities.


Rail grade - Method of sale of livestock where the producer is paid on the basis of carcass weight and grade rather than on the live weight of the animal.

Range - The difference between the high and low price of a particular futures contract during a specified period such as a day, a week or even a month.

Reaction – A downward price movement after a price advance or an upward price movement after a price decline.

Replacements - Livestock sold for purposes other than slaughter.

Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency - A national or regional body established under the Farm Products Agencies Act (Canada) to administer a research, market development, and promotion plan for a specific commodity. This type of agency implements its promotion and research plan and generates its revenues through national levies or check-offs. A provincial marketing board or commission may have responsibility for collection of the national check-off within their province. As of June 2013, the Canadian Beef Cattle Research Market Development and Promotion Agency is an example. This agency promotes beef marketing through advertising, promotion and consumer education programs, and through product and nutrition research. Provincial beef marketing commissions and associations and the Canadian Meat Council and the Canadian Association of Importers and Exports Inc., form the membership of the national beef agency.

Retail Weight Equivalent Consumption - A measure of per capital consumption of a specific kind of meat. The measurement is based on edible meat production alone, excluding fat and bone. This is the new standard for measuring meat consumption that will replace per capita disappearance based on carcass equivalence.

Rolling or Rolling Forward – Offsetting a position in one month of a futures contract and, at the same time, opening the same position of the same commodity in a more deferred month. This is a method of moving a speculative or hedged position to a later date. Also known as "switching."

Round turn – A completed futures or option transaction involving both a "buy" and offsetting "sell," or a "sell" and an offsetting "buy." From a customer's perspective, a round turn represents two filled orders from his or her brokerage firm – one to take a position and one to offset that position. See "offset."