Flood Fears Prompt Grain Movement

Farmers are taking advantage of a Canadian Wheat Board program to move stored grain out of areas at risk of flooding this spring.

As of March 18, 100 Manitoba producers had signed up to move 24,000 tonnes of grain, mostly wheat, off flood-prone farms and into elevators, the CWB said.

Most of the signup is in the Red River Valley, where the greatest flood risk looms. The signup deadline was March 25.

The CWB began allocating rail car orders to potentially affected stations during the last week of February, said board spokesperson Maureen Fitzhenry. Grain is shipped from elevators to ports, freeing up space for deliveries from farmers in nearby areas potentially affected by flooding.

Other regions in Manitoba qualifying for the CWB program are: the Assiniboine River Valley south to the U.S. border; the Red River Valley west to Deloraine; and the Interlake from Winnipeg north to Arborg.

Several regions in Saskatchewan also qualify. They are: an area from Kindersley northwest to Prince Albert; Lucky Lake east to Yorkton; and Weyburn north to Melfort.

Despite the chance of a major flood, the demand from farmers is no greater than in other years when the program was offered, Fitzhenry said.

“It probably, certainly in Manitoba, reflects the fact that farmers have had some experience with this kind of phenomenon in the spring.”

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