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MWBGA gets clearance

THE newly created Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) has received clearance to begin investing in research and market development on behalf of producers in Manitoba.

To do that, starting Feb. 1 it will start collecting a refundable check-off -- totalling $1 per tonne -- on all sales of spring wheat and barley in Manitoba.

The provincial group will join similar ones in Saskatchewan and Alberta that have been formed in the aftermath of the end of the Canadian Wheat Board's role as the single-desk marketer of Prairie wheat and barley.

Don Dewar, a Dauphin-area farmer and interim board chairman, said it has yet to be determined how the funds will be allocated.

Last year, the MWBGA, a producer-led association, was established to provide leadership in wheat and barley research and market development for the evolving cereal industry.

As part of the transition to a post-CWB market, the federal government had established a five-year interim check-off system to maintain funding for the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Canadian International Grains Institute and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, each of which receive varying percentages of each commodity's check-off, with the lion's share going to the WGRF.

In the past, farmers contributed to those research bodies through the CWB.

The interim check-off program -- now in the second of five years -- was 48 cents per tonne for wheat and 56 cents for barley. The new MWBGA levy will top it up to $1.

 

A sign business is booming

IT'S a sure sign economic activity in the city is growing -- FedEx needs a bigger plane.

The Memphis-based logistics powerhouse is introducing wide-bodied Airbus 310 daily service between Winnipeg and the FedEx World Hub in Memphis.

Previously, its five-times-per-week service was from a smaller, narrow-bodied plane.

"We are very encouraged by the economic performance of Manitoba and Canada's mid-west," said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada. "The upgrade reflects our confidence and offers our customers in Manitoba a clear edge in connectivity to global markets."

Felicia Wilshire, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Airports Authority, said the move is a clear sign that business is growing.

"It is good news for Winnipeg," she said. "It allows people shipping in and out of Winnipeg more capacity."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2014 B13

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