CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association supports the move by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to tighten the quality parameters of the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat classes.
“The Wheat Growers support the move by the Commission to restore the quality and integrity of the top milling classes of wheat,” says Levi Wood, President of the Wheat Growers. “This move should address concerns expressed by customers in the past several years regarding the low gluten strength in Canadian wheat shipments.”
The Wheat Growers base their decision on the principle that farmers should be paid for their wheat according to its intrinsic value. Varieties with high gluten-strength are more valued in the marketplace and the price farmers receive for deliveries of these varieties should reflect that.
“Ideally, there would be a driveway test that could test the gluten strength of each wheat delivery and farmers would be paid on that basis,” says Wood. “However such a test is not yet available on a cost-effective basis, and so segregating value on the basis of variety is the only feasible alternative.”
The Wheat Growers also support the establishment of the new interim milling wheat class and recommend that it become a permanent class. The strong growth in the past three years in the acreage of varieties Faller and Prosper suggests there is strong demand from farmers and customers for this type of wheat. It is expected that all 29 varieties removed from the CWRS and CPSR on account of low gluten strength would fit into this new milling class. The Wheat Growers note that any company not wanting to buy or sell these low gluten strength varieties on the basis of this new class will be under no obligation to do so. If they wish instead to buy or sell these (or any other) varieties on the basis of specs, they are perfectly free to do so.
The Wheat Growers are also satisfied with the proposal by the CGC to extend the transition date by one year, to August 1, 2017, to give sufficient time for farmers and the trade to adjust to the new market reality.
“The Wheat Growers recognize that segregating on the basis of variety is not ideal,” says Wood. We support efforts that are geared toward buying grain on the basis of specs, so that visual grading or valuing on the basis of variety is no longer the norm.”
As much as possible, the Wheat Growers encourage farmers to obtain independent tests on their samples, so they have a better understanding of the quality of grain they have, and can market it to maximize its value.
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.