Protecting Canada’s Grain Quality Reputation

The Canadian Grain Co m m i s s i o n , t h e Canadian Wheat Board and the Western Grain Elevators Association have jointly issued a release reminding farmers that producer declarations protect the returns farmers earn from the international marketplace.

The declaration system relies on producers to attest that the grain they deliver to elevators is a variety that is eligible for their class (for example, as Canada Western Red Spring wheat), the release says.

The new system was implemented after kernel visual distinguishability (KVD) was removed as a registration requirement Aug. 1, 2008, which meant certain wheat classes can no longer be differentiated by visual inspection.

“Farmers need to be aware that the grade and protein assessment of their samples at elevators is not a verification of variety eligibility for the class,” said Randy Dennis, chief grain inspector of Canada, of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). “Producer declarations are the indication of class eligibility. That’s how farmers help protect the integrity of our quality-control system.”

An industry committee made up of producer representatives, grain handlers, the CGC, the CWB and plant scientists recommends varieties for inclusion on variety eligibility lists that are maintained by the CGC. A grain industry eligible-variety protocol was implemented in 2006 by the Western Grain Elevator Associat ion (WGEA) and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), with the support of the CGC, the Inland Terminal Association of Canada, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Keystone Agricultural Producers and Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the WGEA, said farmers need to be sure of the varieties they are growing, and to be careful that on-farm storage ensures ineligible varieties do not contaminate their deliveries. There are hundreds of different varieties of grain, but only certain ones are eligible for each class.

“Some var iet ies are not registered in Canada or in Western Canada, others are only eligible for different classes or don’t have the quality characteristics required of the class,” Sobkowich said.

Producers can deliver ineligible varieties, but they will be graded as the lowest grade available for that class (e. g. feed wheat). Producers who misrepresent ineligible varieties as being eligible for the class risk contract cancellation, restricted delivery opportunities and financial responsibility for damages.

Gord Flaten, CWB vice-president of marketing and sales, emphasized the importance of quality control in ensuring farmers can market their grain for maximum return.

“No other wheat marketer can make the consistent quality claims that Western Canada can offer,” he said. “That’s largely due to our quality-control system. An important part of that is ensuring uniform quality of varieties eligible for each class.”


– Gord Flaten,



About the author



Stories from our other publications