(January 23, 2016) I got the news this week that one of my favorite publications is no more. G3, the joint venture between Saudi Arabia and Bunge, which acquired the hard assets of the farmer-controlled Wheat Board, has announced they are sending out their last Market Outlook Newsletter.

Written by the remainder of the Wheat Board’s marketing staff, this is the wonderful newsletter that in February of 2014 blew the whistle on the private grain companies ripping farmers off for billions of dollars between the Vancouver port price and the prices they were paying farmers on the prairies. CWBA published an analysis of this, issued a news release and has updated the material from time to time and will be again.

A few weeks after we issued our news release, Dr. Richard Gray, an eminent agricultural economist from the University of Saskatchewan came to the same conclusions and issued a damning report which he updated in August of 2015 showing the grain trade took an extra $5 to $6.7 billion over the past two crop years from western farmers as excess profits.

The last issue of the Market Outlook Newsletter again showed the integrity and dedication to prairie farmers typical of the CWB’s employees as they put a small gem into their farewell Newsletter confirming once again just how critical the single-desk and orderly marketing really is for western Canada’s farmers.

Look at the gem I bolded and underlined in the quote below. CWB staff has again let the truth of the matter slip out:

“The weak Canadian dollar has sheltered some of the sluggishness in the grains and oilseeds futures markets. A similar trajectory has been experienced by many of our competitors for grains and oilseeds export market share. In fact, farmers in the Black Sea region and South America have seen locally denominated prices reach near or absolute record levels.”

Seeing this we must ask:  are western Canadian elevator prices at the same record highs we see in other countries with declining currency values? They certainly should be with the Canadian dollar now down by 30%.

However, the answer is a resounding “no.” Translating our prices into US dollars shows we are now getting depression era prices for our grains.  Somebody isn’t getting paid all that they’re owed and you can bet it is not the grain companies.

So thank you to the anonymous CWB employee for having the integrity to once again tell the truth.

Their final news letter quote said: “There is no real ending” and western farmers will not let the story stop here.

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