GFM Network News


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

(CGC video screengrab via YouTube)

Year in Review: Expect CGC to be under policy microscope in 2020

KAP doesn't want farmer protections or grain quality undermined

Expect more discussion about the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) role and the Canada Grain Act in 2020. That could lead to legislative changes with implications for farmers, grain companies and Canada’s grain customers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada started reviewing the CGC and the grain act last March. “Ultimately our goal is to have a set


CP Rail says closer collaboration with shippers helps it manage the challenging winter season while moving more grain than ever before.

CP Rail sets back-to-back grain-shipping records

That’s good news because there’s an above-normal amount of grain to move 
despite harvest delays

CP Rail moved a record amount of grain in November, beating its previous record set in October. Meanwhile, CN Rail is gearing up its grain shipping after an eight-day strike resulted in delivering just 2,015 of the 5,409 cars elevator companies ordered for week 16 (Nov. 17 to 23) of the current crop year. The

Railway performance didn’t change much in 2018-19 compared to the previous crop year, says Mark Hemmes, Canada’s grain monitor. Nevertheless the railways shipped a record volume of grain.

Another year, another round of broken grain transport records

Western grain movement, export records set in 2018-19 crop year

The 2018-19 crop year, ended July 31, was record setting for Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system. While industry officials are pleased, they agree the system needs to move even more because farmers keep producing more. “At the rate we are going today… by the time we get to 2030 we’re going to be looking