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Grain farmers weighing their options

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CWB’s first harvest pool closed on Nov. 9 but many Prairie grain farmers are still holding onto their wheat and barley.


Gord Flaten, vice-president of grain procurement for the CWB, said the sign-up deadline for the harvest pool was pushed back from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9 to give farmers more time to confirm grain grades and compare the agency’s offer with those of other grain companies.


"We had good sign-up at the end of the period," Flaten said.


The grain committed through the harvest pool will be added to that which was signed up for the CWB’s early delivery pool and used in sales negotiations. Flaten said that aspect of the business is doing well with the CWB’s staff using their decades of international sales experience to work with customers.


He added that the logistics of working with the grain handling companies to receive CWB grain are also on track.


Brian Chumola, a grain merchant at Richard Pioneer Ag Business Centre in Starbuck, said his company’s grain handling on behalf of the CWB is going smoothly.


He said it appears wheat and barley farmers are being cautious about making marketing decisions since this is the first year they haven’t been required to deliver their grain to the former Canadian Wheat Board.


"They have more options open to them," he said. "They don’t have to put all of their eggs in one basket."


Flaten said the CWB plans to promote its cash contracts to farmers in hopes of attracting more grain deliveries.

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