The CWB believes it will be a significant player in the grain industry after August 1. Although details are still pending (specific agreements with grain handlers), CWB staff presented a refreshingly positive picture to nearly 200 farmers during Crop Production Week in Saskatoon.
For years, single desk supporters have said that a CWB without its monopoly would be doomed. After all, it doesn’t own any grain handling facilities.
Now, the story is that grain companies will want the volume that the CWB will bring to the table. The grain companies are also competitors, but why would they pass up an opportunity to handle additional grain?
The CWB has other advantages as well – a government guarantee on borrowing, employees with marketing experience, direct relationships with customers around the world.
It appears that farmers signing up grain with the CWB will be able to choose between pooling options or a cash price. They will also be able to choose which grain company to ship through.
Trains leaving elevators are likely to be a mix of CWB grain and grain purchased by the elevator company. There will have to be coordination for deliveries as well as shipments.
There are details yet to work out and it’s still tough to visualize exactly how it’s all going to function. However, if the CWB can remain a significant player, it will help bring competition to the marketplace.
I’m Kevin Hursh.