Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan face the same manufacturing challenges, according to Lorne Neault, an energy management consultant with EMW Industrial Ltd., based in the Interlake.
The Saskatchewan company he works for sets up grain dryers throughout Western Canada, including Manitoba.
“Typically most of the dryer manufacturers are U.S., they sell dryers to whoever requests them, even in Canada, without having the proper CSA or ULc certifications,” Neault said. “Most farmers aren’t aware of this aspect and typically aren’t made aware until the dryer shows up on their site and the electrical contractor and the utility/inspection department start to inspect prior to work even commencing.
“My personal experience and opinion is that with best practices and adherence to building and electrical codes, and fire codes, the work to install and maintain these dryer systems is relative in both provinces,” he added.
Neault also estimated that the base cost of a grain dryer is mostly the same between Manitoba and Saskatchewan, although it may be easier to set up a natural gas dryer farther west. Most of Saskatchewan has easy access to natural gas compared to Manitoba, he said, while the utility costs to provide new power for a dryer might add another financial and logistical hurdle. In both cases, he advised farmers to buy dryers at about half the cost of new equipment.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner has published an online dryer guide, which includes general information on the CSA 3.8 certification. Farmers should arrange a site visit from an inspector if they are unsure about their used dryer’s certification, the guide says.