Producer car orders for next crop year are on hold until the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) launches its new online application process, expected soon, says CGC spokesman Remi Gosselin.
“If producers have already submitted an application for producer cars for the crop year 2014-15 they will resubmit their application when we begin accepting them through our new online application system,” Gosselin said in an interview April 4. “And we are no longer accepting applications at this time for 2014-15, but we’re still accepting producer car applications for 2013-14.
“We’re trying to get the demand for cars this year through before we take applications for next year.”
The CGC had received only “a few” producer car applications for the 2014-15 crop that starts Aug. 1, Gosselin said.
While farmers can still order producer cars for loading this crop year, there is no guarantee they will get them.
“It’s based on availability through the railways,” he said.
The railways have back orders for 70,000 cars from elevator companies, according to the Western Grain Elevator Association.
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In the past when most producer cars moved grain to the Canadian Wheat Board, car orders were cut off at the end of the crop year until the board was ready to accept them, Gosselin said.
“As part of this new online system farmers will be able to order producer cars into the next crop year,” he said. “So the system will be seamless one crop year to the next.”
As of week 34 of the current crop year the CGC has received 17,783 producer car orders with 12,752 scheduled.
It’s almost certain producer car shipments in the 2013-14 crop year ending July 31 will shatter the previous modern record of 14,341 set in 2011-12.
The Canadian Wheat Board was the main buyer for grain delivered in producer cars so many feared the board’s demise would spell an end to producer cars as most grain companies would decline to take delivery at port. However, producer cars are more popular this year than ever with farmers making deals with companies, including American ones, that don’t have country elevators or none near where the shipper is located.