Bumper crop leaves producers concerned over grain transportation

19.08.2016

Federal agriculture minister says rail companies have said they're ready.

Railways and farmers in the province are expecting a bumper crop this season, and with that comes the question of transporting the product.

This week, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lawrence MacAulay is in Saskatchewan to discuss this issue and others with farmers and those involved in the agricultural sector.

Chief among the concerns is rail transport.

"The railway companies have advised me that they're well aware that there's going to be a bumper crop here on the prairie and they're ready to move the crop," said MacAulay.

After the Canadian Wheat Board was sold, MacAulay says farmers lost their voice, and now farmers are looking to get it back.

In 2013, farmers where hit hard due to the inability to move their grain. On Thursday, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale spoke about how this impacted farmers and what it means for the railways.

"The railways need to know they're under special scrutiny because of the way that crop season went three years ago. This is a critical problem. They and the grain companies did not perform up to the standard that farmers would expect," Goodale said.

In 2015, total Canadian agricultural exports exceeded $60 billion, an all time high. The federal and provincial governments are looking to maintain this current success.

"There's another few weeks to go. But it's a good crop and everybody now wants to see it successfully delivered," said Goodale.

 


cbc
 

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