Canadian Canola Growers Association

Extension of Grain Minimums Appreciated by Canola Farmers

December 1, 2014CCGA Press Release

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Winnipeg, Manitoba  --  Canola farmers who continue to hold large grain stocks in their bins are thankful that mandated grain shipping targets for Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway will continue through to March 28, 2015.

As announced late last week by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transportation, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture, the railways will each be required to meet a target that varies throughout the winter, beginning at 345,000 tonnes on November 30, dropping to 200,000 tonnes on December 21, and rising incrementally beginning January 3, 2015, to a high of 465,000 tonnes in late March. The railways will also have to produce formal winter contingency plans, including service plans for producer cars and short lines.

“These minimums and contingency plans are absolutely necessary to avoid financial stress for farmers,” says Brett Halstead, President of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “This is another step toward long-term solutions and we greatly appreciate the government’s continued leadership on this issue.”

Since earlier this year, the mandated minimum volumes have been effective in delivering the rail service that farmers deserve. This is important, as most recent estimates predict Western Canadian farmers will have another strong year with production likely reaching 60 million tonnes.

“We’ve seen producer deliveries, terminal receipts and exports all up significantly, compared to the same time last year,” says Halstead. “With this heavy shipping season ahead of us, now is not the time to ease up on railway accountability to farmers and the national economy.”

“While CCGA prefers more market-based solutions that benefit all shippers and would address the grain movement issue, there remains nothing commercially available to compel the railways to maintain accountability in the face of ample supply, a strong commercial grain marketing program and impending cold weather,” says Rick White, Chief Executive Officer of the CCGA. “The provision of information on car order fulfillment by corridor will bring a new degree of transparency to the logistics system.”

CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.

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Kelly Green, Director of Communications 
Phone: 204.789.8821