GFM Network News


(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

Grain companies and farm groups are questioning whether moving to more specific measures of wheat quality provide enough benefit relative to the cost.

Grain-grading factors spur industry debate

Grain companies and farm groups question whether moving to more specific measures of wheat quality provide enough benefit relative to the cost

Western Canada’s major grain companies strongly oppose making falling number (FN) and DON official grading factors for wheat under the Canada Grain Act. And at least two farm groups — the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) — are wary of the idea and want more information before any change. “The WGEA

Lateral flow strip technology has made testing for DON faster and less expensive. The newest Raptor machine shown here in the CGC’s Grain Research Laboratory can run three samples simultaneously. The cartridge system also allows three replicates of a single sample to be run in the same well. The test takes three minutes. Once loaded the device operates unattended.

Farmers divided on wheat-grading changes at KAP

Should the grain commission add them as grading factors?

If falling number and DON (deoxynivalenol) are added as wheat-grading factors will it help or hurt wheat producers? That sums up the discussion after Doug Chorney, assistant chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), spoke at the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ (KAP) advisory council on April 2. KAP didn’t take a position, but its Grain


The Certificate Final is issued on every cargo, and guarantees it meets official grade specifications.

Farmers defend grain commission’s role

WGEA says the CGC can continue to protect Canada’s brand by overseeing private grain inspectors

The creation of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) 107 years ago followed decades of farmer complaints that the grain trade cheated them on grades and diluted the quality of their grain when exported. Much has changed since 1912, but many farmers say the CGC is still needed. “The reasons why the CGC was invented in

Should falling number and DON be grading factors?

Expensive machines would replace visual assessments of sprout and fusarium damage

Should falling number and deoxynivalenol (DON) be official grain-grading factors? The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is asking the grain industry for opinions before May 10. Both factors are included now, but through visual proxies — sprout damage for falling number and fusarium-damaged kernels for DON. They aren’t as accurate as machine measurements, but they are

Editorial: A valuable question

The Irish writer and humorist Oscar Wilde once famously noted that a cynic is one who “… knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” Wilde wrote those words in the play “Lady Windemere’s Fan” more than 125 years ago, as a rebuttal to what he saw as the growing cynicism of the


The ability to move grain by rail from country elevator to port terminals still has room for improvement, says the president of Quorum Corporation.

Grain by rail fails to keep up

Rail transportation is the biggest bottleneck in the grain-handling system

Western Canadian grain shipments are moving well this crop year, but exports could be even higher. The limitation, according to Mark Hemmes, Canada’s grain monitor and president of Quorum Corporation, is the ability to move the crop between country elevator and port terminal by rail. “Grain companies generally do not market grain based on global

CTA launches first self-initiated rail service investigation

Shippers hope it can nip rail service issues in the bud, preventing small problems from becoming massive backlogs

No matter how the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) first self-initiated investigation into possible freight rail service issues in Vancouver last month turns out, it bodes well for rail shippers, shipper association officials say. “It’s good to know the agency isn’t shy about using its new authority to launch investigations because that’s important,” Wade Sobkowich, executive