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Published February 09, 2008, 12:00 AM

Canadian Wheat Board likely to fade out

I recently attended a meeting of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers. The meeting was held in Minneapolis at the end of January. Apparently the fact the Canadian dollar is now stronger than our dollar made Minneapolis a good choice to have their annual meeting. This particular grower organization is very anti-Canadian Wheat Board. It believes farmers should have the right to market their own crops however and whenever they want. Today they must deliver all of their wheat and barley to the Canadian Wheat Board and take what they get at the end of the marketing year.

By: Mike Krueger, The Jamestown Sun

I recently attended a meeting of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers. The meeting was held in Minneapolis at the end of January.

Apparently the fact the Canadian dollar is now stronger than our dollar made Minneapolis a good choice to have their annual meeting. This particular grower organization is very anti-Canadian Wheat Board. It believes farmers should have the right to market their own crops however and whenever they want. Today they must deliver all of their wheat and barley to the Canadian Wheat Board and take what they get at the end of the marketing year.

The Canadian Wheat Board has been coming under aggressive fire recently. The Harper government wants the Wheat Board abolished.

The government tried to take barley away from the Wheat Board last fall, but a court ruled it couldn’t do it. This barley decision is being appealed again in late February.

Many producers in Canada would like to plant a lot more barley in 2008 because of the high price and low input cost, but they say they won’t do it unless the Wheat Board monopoly on barley is eliminated. Some of the same sentiments exist on wheat.

Wheat prices are at record high levels, but farmers in Canada never know what they’ll finally get for their wheat for more than a year after they harvest it. That doesn’t work very well in today’s fast market environment. So instead of planting wheat and barley that are controlled by the Canadian Wheat Board, they are choosing to plant other crops not controlled by the Wheat Board. Those crops include canola, oats, field peas, etc. Prices for these commodities are also very high and the farmer can sell whenever they want to whomever they want.

It seems inevitable that eventually the Canadian Wheat Board will disappear or change radically.

Krueger is the host of “The Money Farm,”

a syndicated radio and television program

on grain marketing and is a licensed

commodity broker. He can be reached

by e-mail at mike@themoneyfarm.com.

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