CWB’s 2011-12 final payments ready to roll

Prairie wheat, durum and barley growers who delivered to the Canadian Wheat Board’s last-ever round of single-desk pools in the 2011-12 crop year will start seeing final payments at the end of this month.

Announced Friday, the payments — which cover the balance owed to farmers after their grain was marketed through the board’s pools, and after operating costs are deducted — range from $13.51 to $14.11 per tonne for wheat, from $14.12 to $15.18 per tonne for durum and are $16.34 or $16.79 per tonne for malting barley.

The length of the wait for this final round of final payments was a question-period topic in the House of Commons on Wednesday, as Liberal MP Ralph Goodale chided the federal government for "forcing farmers to wait more than two months now to get their own money."

The federal government, as the guarantor of CWB payments for now, must approve the proposed final payments before they’re released.

CWB said last month it had submitted its proposed final-payment rates to Ottawa on Dec. 18, 2012, but the Commons had adjourned Dec. 14 and didn’t resume sitting until Jan. 28.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz retorted Wednesday to Goodale, a former federal minister responsible for the CWB, that "some of those cheques used to take 10 to 12 weeks getting through the maze of the Liberal government at that time."

The pools. Ritz said, are in their "final windup" and "there is a little more diligence, a little more work required, since it is the final time the farmers will have to wait for their money."

Direct deposits will be made to eligible farmers’ bank accounts on Feb. 26, CWB said Friday, while farmers who prefer cheques can expect to see them in the mail starting March 7.

At the low end of the final payments for wheat, for example, is No. 3 Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS), at $13.51 per tonne. Combined with the pool’s initial payment in August 2011, adjustment payments last April and June, and an interim payment in November, the total payment for No. 3 CWRS comes to $250.81 per tonne, or $6.83 per bushel.

At the top end, No. 1 CWRS (14.4 per cent protein) gets a final payment of $14.11 per tonne, which combined with the initial payment, adjustments in February, April and June 2012 and an interim payment in November, brings its total payments to $334.91 per tonne ($9.11/bu.).

For durum, the low-end final payment of $14.12 per tonne went to No. 3 CW amber durum (CWAD), for total payments of $312.92 per tonne ($8.52/bu.). At the high end, No. 4 CWAD draws a final payment of $15.18 per tonne, for total payments of $269.98 per tonne ($7.35/bu.).

Select CW two-row barley and Select CW two-row (food) barley drew final payments of $16.34 per tonne, for total payments of $312.94 and $292.94 per tonne ($6.81 and $6.38/bu.) respectively. Select CW six-row fetched a final payment of $17.69, for total payments worth $299.29 per tonne ($6.52/bu.).

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