GFM Network News


Big grain companies want big changes at Canada’s biggest port

The Western Grain Elevator Association wants more say and more transparency in how the Port of Vancouver operates

Canada’s biggest grain companies want sweeping changes to how the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s biggest port, including for grain, operates. “We are trying to promote a solution that allows Canada to reach its targeted goal of $85 billion in (food and agricultural) exports by 2025,” Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association

“The grain companies have never wanted the CGC. They would much prefer a situation wherein they can make all the rules themselves... “ Stewart Wells, NFU.

Grain act, grain commission review revived

The ongoing examination is sure to reveal fractures and differing interests

Two pillars of Canada’s $26-billion grain industry are again under review — a process reviving long-standing divisions between some farmers and grain companies over grain industry regulations. The Canada Grain Act and Canadian Grain Commission which administers it, deal with grain buyer licensing, grade standards, grading disputes, quality control and producer payment protection. Some submissions


Railways were able to overcome a bad start to the shipping year after capacity opened up due to the COVID slowdown.

COVID surprise comes to grain movement in 2020

How the pandemic helped Canada set a grain shipping record and what’s to come

When it comes to the grain transportation file in 2020, it was a story of extremes. Record western Canadian grain shipments in the 2019-20 crop year ending July 31, belies poor rail performance, much of it beyond their control, during the first six months of that period. “When we were in week 28 (Feb. 9-15,

How grain delivery declarations came to be

Grain companies belonging to the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) introduced grain delivery declarations in 2005 and they have worked generally well, says association executive director Wade Sobkowich. Declarations had been debated for at least 25 years before as an alternative to kernel visual distinguishability (KVD) — a system that required new wheat varieties destined

Even as railways set shipping records, year-end carry-over continues to grow.

Grain shipping. It’s a good news-bad news story

The grain-handling system keeps setting records, even as carry-out keeps rising

[UPDATED: June 5, 2020] Despite major setbacks earlier in the shipping season and COVID-19, Canada’s railways are setting grain shipping records. *Year-to-date movement to Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Thunder Bay is two per cent ahead of last crop year’s (2018-19) pace, which ended with a record of 34.9 million tonnes shipped. Total shipments to all


COVID-19 hasn’t derailed Canadian grain shipping – yet

So far so good. That’s how Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association, describes the impact COVID-19 has had on the grain supply chain. “We continue to monitor things,” he said in an interview May 6. “There could come a time when something occurs that puts us in the same boat as

Grain trains have been running fast and furious as CN Rail has made up for lost time.

CN ships record grain volume in March

The rail backlog from landslides, strike and blockades has been made up despite all odds

CN Rail is on a roll. The company shipped a record 2.65 million tonnes of grain in March, surpassing the previous 2017 record of 2.47 million tonnes by seven per cent. It’s due to a combination of increased capacity through capital investments, good weather and reduced oil and potash traffic, although lumber and container traffic

Grain companies are trying to balance safety with legal rights to see grain being graded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seen here is a file photo of grain grading at the Alliance Grain Terminal in Vancouver.

Grading grain compromise in wake of COVID—19

Rights clash with reality of grain grading in the age of social distancing

Physical distancing may prevent farmers from watching their grain being graded at the elevator. But they can still ask the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to determine the grade if they dispute the buyer’s grade, says CGC spokesman Remi Gosselin. Under the Canada Grain Act, which the CGC enforces, farmers have a right to see their


Grain keeps moving despite virus

COVID-19: For now the coronavirus hasn’t affected the supply chain

As Canadians increasingly hunker down at home hoping to slow the spread of COVID-19, Prairie grains and oilseeds continue to move from farms to markets, at home, to export terminals and the United States. “Our members are going to do their best to keep the supply chain moving,” Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western

Despite a good early effort, a CN strike and landslides on both main lines had already set the stage for problems.

Derailed: Protests cause grain shipping turmoil

The many moving parts of Canada’s rail network mean it will be weeks or months before normalcy returns

The head of Canada’s grain transportation monitor didn’t mince words during a recent conversation following a spate of protests that have disrupted rail service on the national level. “I’m really glad I don’t work for a railway this week,” Mark Hemmes of Quorum Corp. said by telephone Feb. 19 from his Edmonton office. “This has