Canada’s big two railways recently cut 19 producer car loading sites across the West, even though farmers are using producer cars more than ever as they struggle to get a record crop to market.
CP recently cut five sites, leaving 94, and CN cut 14, leaving 48.
Farmers’ right to order and fill rail cars with their own grain goes back more than 100 years and is enshrined in the Canada Grains Act.
Producer car shippers have traditionally saved money by avoiding elevator charges, loading the cars themselves or hiring someone to do it for them. But the bigger saving now is on the basis — the difference between cash and futures prices.
Canadian Grain Commission statistics show producer car orders so far this crop year are up more than 60 per cent from the same time last year to 13,494.
It’s almost certain producer car shipments in 2013-14 will shatter the previous modern record of 14,341 in 2011-12.
CLICK HERE to read Allan Dawson’s full story from the Manitoba Co-operator.