News Local

Farmers begin deliveries to CWB

By Jordan Maxwell, Portage Daily Graphic

Prairie farmers in the Central Plains have started to deliver grain to CWB contractors, marking the first wave of loads to the pools.

Gord Flaten, vice-president of grain procurement, said that farmers seem interested in doing with CWB as a result of their new marketing environment.

"We've had a lot of interest. These are big changes, so farmers have been asking a lot of questions about how these are going to work, and grain-handling company staff are also asking questions about this. So it's a lot of work to get the message out. But the bottom line is that farmers are still very interested, particularly in pooled contracts," said Flaten in a statement.

"One of the advantages we have is that we do have agreements with all of these companies that guarantee us movement in each month of the crop year. Some of that doesn't start until October, but we're almost there. So there is going to be CWB grain movement every month of the year as we go through the pooling period. So that means that farmers who sign up to our pool contracts will have delivery opportunity throughout the year."

While delivery is taking off, the CWB acknowledged that grain cannot be handled and moved after the harvest.

"Most farmers realize they've never been able to deliver all their grain right off the combine, regardless of what the marketing environment was. When the CWB had a single desk, that didn't happen, it didn't happen for canola and open-market crops in the past, and it's not going to happen now," said Flaten. "Everybody wants to provide delivery opportunity as early as possible, that's all of our objectives, and we've negotiated our agreements and structured our arrangements with the companies so that we're going to be as competitive as anybody - not just on price, but on delivery opportunity and a range of other service factors."

The Early Delivery Pool will soon close, according to the CWB, so Flaten urged farmers not to delay, if they want guaranteed delivery by January 31.

""The important thing to keep in mind is that the sign-up deadline for that pool is September 28. We may also be needing to close that pool earlier than September 28 because there is limited capacity in the fall. So farmers who are interested in that should sign up as soon as they possibly can. They do also have until September 28 to change their grade for free, so there's no risk really to signing up early," said Flaten.


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