Saskatchewan crop commissions meet with Minister Bibeau to discuss harvest, trade, and transportation

Directors from the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG), and the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola), met with the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, in Regina on Monday to discuss this year’s harvest, ongoing trade issues, the impact of the CN Rail work stoppage, and some systemic transportation challenges grain farmers face. All the factors discussed are compounded with the level of risk farmers are facing and the need for major reform to Business Risk Management programming.

“This was an important opportunity to communicate with Minister Bibeau and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials,” said Sask Wheat Chair Laura Reiter. “This has been one of the most difficult harvests in many years, which has had a major impact on the quality of crops, and transportation constraints add to those challenges. We are pleased to see that CN and their union have come to a tentative agreement and that work will resume soon. We will continue to pursue improvements in the transportation system, as grain transportation and handling needs to be consistent and affordable for grain farmers to capture marketing opportunities.”

Pulse growers are facing significant challenges in trade, as pulses continue to be subject to trade tariffs in Canada’s top export market, India. “These tariffs have caused pulse exports to reach record low prices and have caused pulse farmers across the province significant duress,” said SPG director Chad Doerksen. “In the long-term, the pulse industry is working to diversify markets for pulse crops to reduce our reliance on singular export markets, and will do this through developing new-use and new market opportunities for Canadian pulses and pulse ingredients.”

China’s trade action on Canadian canola imports has had a major financial impact on Saskatchewan’s canola growers. “Our farmers are facing market challenges in a number of crops along with weather challenges in many regions of the province,” said SaskCanola Chair Lane Stockbrugger. “This is the time when effective Business Risk Management programs are critical to help carry through the uncertainty. It was a good opportunity to meet with Minister Bibeau and raise the concerns that are on the minds of many Saskatchewan farmers.”

For more information, media may contact:

Tracy Broughton
Public Affairs Manager, SaskCanola
(306) 715-2052

Andrea Lauder
Communications Manager, Sask Pulse Growers
(306) 250-6858

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager, Sask Wheat
(306) 220-7003