Leo Howse
Porcupine Plain, SK

Well, the buzzards are circling.

The folks at Cargill are calling on the government to hold off killing the Wheat Board until next year so they’re ready when it keels over. “There’s a lot of money that could be at stake,” Len Penner says and he wants to be sure that his company gets its rightful share.

Whose money exactly? Not the folks who use our grain. Their price will stay the same no matter who’s supplying it. As a matter of fact, most customers will probably end up paying less once they can get premium western Canadian grain from more than one source.

How about the processors? There’ll be more value-added activity once the Wheat Board is out of the picture, right? That’s what some people – including Gerry Ritz – have been saying for years. Not so says Mr. Penner. The market is saturated. There’s no need for any more processing capacity in Western Canada.

The railways? Nope: grain companies don’t care about freight rates as long as everybody gets charged the same.

That leaves the lowly producer. The money the big three (Cargill, Viterra and the Richardson’s) are going to be carving up among themselves is the margin they’ll be making on the grain they buy from farmers like me.  As long as the Wheat Board was in the game, they were being held back on wheat and barley. Now the dinner bell is ringing and they want to make sure they’re sitting comfortably at the table when the feast begins.

I’m glad to see the Minister’s listening to them and that they’ll get what they’re looking for… I just don’t like the fact I’m going to be the main course.

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