Wheat Farmers Worry


CALGARY — A feeling of uncertainty has settled among Western farmers as Ottawa’s new law to create an open market for the sale of wheat and barley remains top of mind.

Farmers are concerned about the sparse communication between Western growers and Japan, the region’s biggest top-notch wheat buyer. The problem has caused a lot of confusion about how the changes to the Wheat Board will unfold. Court cases will determine whether the grain planted will be marketed through the Wheat Board or through private trade.

Meanwhile, in January, most farmers begin to make their seeding plans for the year, but due to the confusion over the fate of the Wheat Board, some might avoid planting wheat or barley this spring, said Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, as reported by the Calgary Herald.

“It may be one of the most challenging years for the grain industry that we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, told The Winnipeg Free Press.

Gerry Ritz, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, maintains famers should continue to plan their seeding schedules and assume the monopoly will end in August 2012.

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