CWB Expects To Announce A Wheat Contract Call Soon – for Aug. 26, 2010

The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) says it will probably start accepting delivery of new-crop Canada Western Red Spring wheat at the end of August.

That’s usually when the first new contract calls are issued, CWB spokesman John Lyons said last week. But southern Manitoba farmers, especially those in the Red River Valley where harvesting is most advanced, are anxious to deliver some of their crop, which is coming off earlier than the last two years and well ahead of the rest of the Prairies.

“The reason we don’t have any calls yet is we’re finishing up the old crop,” Lyons said. “But there is likely to be a call before the end of the month or thereabouts.”

The CWB is moving out old-crop spring wheat in Saskatchewan and Alberta, said Bert Dupasquier, the CWB’s farm business representative based in Brandon.

“Our movement is a little bit slow right now and it usually is at this time of year just because we’re between old crop and new crop,” he said. “We don’t want to ship out all the old crop before the new crop comes off.”

The CWB also wants a better handle on the quality of the new crop before making a lot of sales, he added.

Even if there was a contract call in effect, it’s unlikely elevators would take much wheat in unless they were assured it was going to be shipped out relatively quickly. Grain buyers don’t want to plug their terminals with grain that’s not moving out, Dupasquier said.

“If we have say 10 million tonnes signed up on the A series contract and we put a 25 per cent call on technically we can get 2.5 million tonnes,” he said. “That doesn’t necessarily move all in two or three weeks.

“I think things are going to start picking up, but we’re not seeing a whole lot of harvest activity (outside of Manitoba) yet so it’s pretty tough for us to go and commit to whole bunch of sales until we know what’s going to come out. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing at this point.”

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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