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Wheat and barley check-off starts to fund research

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Manitoba farmers delivering spring wheat or barley to elevators will have 52 cents per tonne for wheat and 50 cents for barley deducted beginning on Feb. 1 through a new provincial check-off program.

Administered by the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), this deduction, when added to the federal government’s existing check-off, adds up to $1 per tonne. The money will be used to fund grain research and market development projects.

MWBGA project consultant Brent VanKoughnet said the refundable check-off now being applied in Manitoba is similar to those in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

"I’m pleased to say that Manitoba’s caught up now," he said.
If farmers want a rebate on the amount deducted from their delivery payments, they can apply to the MWBGA.

"They can contact our organization, and we would give them that opportunity twice a year,"VanKoughnet said.

He said it is expected that, in a normal year, wheat check-off revenues will be just over $1 million and barley check-off revenues will be approximately $200,000.

The check-off funds should be available to researchers beginning in 2015. Decisions on where the money goes will be made by the MWBGA’s board. The board now includes
interim chair Don Dewar from Dauphin, vice-chair Fred Greig from Reston, Ray Askin from Portage la Prairie, David Rourke from Minto, Doug Martin from Selkirk, and Grant Dyck from Niverville.

VanKoughnet said half of the board members will be up for election in 2015, and the other half in 2016.


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