One of the benefits of being involved with the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance and the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board is that I get to talk with a lot of knowledgeable people and I also get to hear very interesting reports from all over the prairies.

Here is one from a very reliable friend in southern Alberta. While waiting in a long line up of trucks at a southern Alberta elevator my friend found himself behind a vocal and well known anti-Wheat Board farmer. So my friend asked the guy why he was sitting in a line up in Alberta – why wasn’t he hauling to the US.

The fellow answered that he had done so the previous week. He said he had found a good price for durum wheat in Great Falls, Montana on the internet so he had loaded up his truck and headed south.

“So how did that work for you?” my friend asked.

“Not worth a damn” was the answer.

Apparently he had spent three hours at the border doing paper work which the Yanks did not have readily available. “Then as soon as I got into Montana, the highway patrol pulled me over – I had to remove the marked fuel from my truck and replace it with clear fuel and that took another three hours.”

When the farmer finally got to an unnamed Great Falls elevator they discounted his durum because it was two-tenths of one percent wetter than they wanted. Then they found a small rock in the load and discounted the price even more.

So my friend tells me the farmer said it was not worth it and he will be sitting in lines in Canada for the foreseeable future.

All of which demonstrates that in the world grain trade the whole idea of “buyer beware” is turned on its head and it is “seller beware” because the real power now rests with the grain companies. So this farmer learned a hard and costly lesson. The advertised price is just to get you in the door and then the excuses start. In the end he dumped his load of ultra-high quality durum wheat for less than it was worth while spending a lot of money and a very frustrating day down south.

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