Grain Industry Gears up for Marketing Freedom
CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian grain industry is primed and ready for the implementation of an open market in wheat and barley on August 1. Prairie grain farmers are now poised to make some significant gains under their new found freedom.
Under the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly, prices for wheat and barley were often a dollar per bushel or more below open market prices. The creation of an open market has eliminated this discrepancy. Forward prices now being offered on the prairies are on par with prices offered at elevators in the northern U.S. states.“Grain prices are strong and there appears to be a decent crop coming for most western farmers,” says Kevin Bender, President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. “Re-establishing the open market will create some excellent marketing opportunities for prairie farmers.”
“The creation of an open market is generating some attractive bids for our grain,” says Cherilyn Nagel, Past President. “Prices for new crop wheat and barley on the prairies are every bit as good, and sometimes better than prices being offered in the U.S.”
Farmers also now have greater flexibility to deliver their wheat and barley at a time of their choosing. In the past, farmers were often forced to sell canola or other non-CWB crops at harvest time to generate cashflow, because of delivery restrictions on wheat and malt barley.
The Wheat Growers are also pleased that the transition to an open market is proceeding smoothly. Today, a working group of Canadian and U.S. farm and trade associations launched a new website, http://canada-usgrainandseedtrade.info that provides information to Canadian and U.S. farmers who may be looking at marketing grain across the border.
On Friday, the federal government also formally announced the implementation of regulations that will ensure the continued funding of research and market development activities. Earlier, the federal government announced transition funding to the Canadian Wheat Board that ensures farmers are not saddled with costs associated with the wind-up of the monopoly, and gives the new CWB every opportunity to succeed.
“We’re on the verge of some exciting times in the western grain industry,” says Bender. “Restoring the open market will create some excellent opportunities for farmers to increase the profitability of their farms.”
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.
For More Information Contact:
Kevin Bender, President