GFM Network News

Screenshot of Parrish and Heimbecker’s Quill Lake, Sask. elevator. (

Rail upgrades planned for P+H elevator

Eastern Saskatchewan elevator's rail spot expanding

Winnipeg grain firm Parrish and Heimbecker plans to boost throughput at one of its eastern Saskatchewan elevators with upgrades to its rail car loading systems. Privately-held P+H said Thursday it plans to expand to a 100-car spot, up from 50, at its elevator at Quill Lake, Sask., about 60 km east of Humboldt. Work on

A grain train pulls up alongside a cargo vessel at the Alliance Grain Terminal at Vancouver on Oct. 6, 2011. (File photo: Reuters/Ben Nelms)

Grain commission proposes big inspection fee cut

Effective Aug. 1 the cost of outward inspection would be cut by 29 per cent

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), whose role in Canadian grain quality assurance is under federal review, wants to cut its fees for four official grain inspection and official grain weighing services effective Aug. 1, the start of the new crop year. The change will save Canada’s grain sector millions of dollars over the next three

A CN train hauling grain cars circles the loop at GrainsConnect’s Maymont, Sask. loop-track/power-on terminal. The locomotive never has to be detached from the train when loading or unloading, which cuts the time it spends at an elevator by up to half compared to conventional grain terminals.

Don’t stop: Loop tracks set to revolutionize shipping

If you never decouple the locomotive, you never lose braking pressure – and that's huge

The loop-track/power-on grain terminals popping up throughout the Prairies are kind of like the marines — no rail car gets left behind. That’s one example of how these terminals improve efficiency in Canada’s grain transportation system, said Warren Stow, president of GrainsConnect Canada, whose company is currently building two such facilities in the Alberta communities

Canada's grain export terminals can handle almost 19,000 cars a week, elevators say, but the rails say they'll deliver 8,000 a week combined in winter and 11,000 the rest of the year.

Rail car shortfalls drag on sales, grain companies say

Grain companies say they can handle twice the number of rail cars they’re getting

Western Canada’s major grain companies say car shortfalls are seriously hampering their ability to make sales. In fact, they say they can handle twice as many rail cars during the first half of the crop year than what the railways intend to supply. “We don’t expect the railways to gear up to provide 18,750 rail

(Dave Bedard photo)

Cargill upgrading rail loading at Lethbridge

Agrifood firm Cargill is reworking the site layout and expanding its rail loading capacity at its grain elevator in the Lethbridge city limits. The company recently announced a $20 million project to “more than double” the loading capacity at the Lethbridge elevator, from 56 to 134 cars. “The industry standard for rail capacity is increasing,

grain cars

Rail cars the weakest link in supply chain

A public-private partnership could solve this problem but political will is needed

While oil and gas, mining and other commodity sectors struggle, the grain and agri-food industries are going strong. This is a good thing, since it accounts for 6.7 per cent of GDP and supports one job in eight, employing over 2.2 million people. Globally, Canada is the fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and food products. However,

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt

Ottawa drops minimum rail shipping order

improvements to grain transportation must come from the Canada Transportation Act review

The federal government’s order-in-council requiring the two major railways to ship a minimum amount of grain has expired, but can be reinstated if required, says Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The first order last March compelled the railways to ship one million tonnes in total per week or face a fine of up to $100,000 a

Fair treatment for Western farmers began 100 years ago

It was more than a century ago but bitter conflict between farmers and the early western Canadian grain industry still resonates in the childhood memories of old-timers like Harvey English. “It was highway robbery. That’s what it was in those days,” says English, 94. “They were just stealing everything off the farmer that they could

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

Weather 2010 — Cats And Doggerel

Yes, it’s that time again, the annual occasion When we indulge in a bit of agricultural di-verse-ification In badly rhymed couplets, to see that if we can’t Reflect on the year’s stories that seemed most significant Some years that’s hard, especially when trying to rhyme it This year it’s not – the story for sure