Abumper crop has the Canadian Grain Commission reminding grain companies of the rules for storing grain outside.
“Before storing grain on the ground, a licensed elevator must request an exemption in writing, advising the Canadian Grain Commission of the kind of grain to be stored on the ground and the date the grain to be stored on the ground is received,” the commission said in a news release.
The commission also wants to know when grain stored outside is being shipped to an export terminal and its location, said Randy Dennis, Canada’s chief grain inspector.
“We’ve got the ability to go and collect samples ourselves or to monitor it,” Dennis said. “That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it, but when the grain is being loaded to vessels then we’ve got that knowledge.”
Grain companies have been calling the commission to find out what rules apply, and about a half-dozen have received exemptions allowing them to store grain outside their elevators, he said.
Mandatory inward inspection was eliminated Aug. 1 to save terminal operators, and ultimately farmers, money. However, terminals still do their own inward inspection, or hire a third-party inspector, so any contaminated grain should still be spotted, Dennis said.
“They’re still doing the work to make sure the quality is there,” he said. “Everybody has the same goal of wanting to ensure there’s a quality product that’s being received and exported so the customers don’t have concerns because the customers see this news as well.”
The commission is also warning grain buyers that farmers could be storing more grain on the ground this year, too.
“Under the Canada Grain Act, a licensed grain-handling facility cannot receive grain that is contaminated,” the commission said in its release. “As well, a licensed elevator can refuse to receive grain that is out of condition, or is likely to go out of condition.”
Before a policy change in 2000, the commission would sometimes allow grain companies to store non-wheat board grain outside, but then prohibited that grain from entering an elevator later. The restriction was meant to discourage outside grain storage, but was hard to enforce and so was changed to ensure better compliance.
Farmers storing grain outside led to problems with deer excreta in grain shipments during the 1997-98 crop year. Deer dung found in two barley shipments to Japan in 1997 cost the Canadian Wheat Board, and ultimately farmers, $1.8 million.
Later that crop year, the commission essentially adopted a zero-tolerance policy for deer excreta in grain shipments. Primary elevators were given the authority to reject deliveries of excreta-contaminated grain and export terminals could ship contaminated carloads back to country elevators.