Enrolment opens for CWB’s new-crop programs

The sign-up period is officially underway for wheat, durum and malting barley growers wanting to get in on the refurbished CWB’s new-crop pool and cash contracts.

The CWB on Thursday (March 29) opened the new-crop pools and programs for the 2012-13 crop year, which begins Aug. 1.

"Farmers can rely on the CWB to provide them with the most effective grain-marketing strategy as they enter a new open-market environment," CWB CEO Ian White said in a release.

"Our programs offer competitive returns and solid risk management, with options designed for maximum choice and minimum hassle."

The CWB, which officially loses its single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley with the start of the new crop year, will offer two pools, three cash-contract programs and malting barley production contracts.

The programs have been promoted to Prairie farmers during March at a series of 21 meetings ending Friday at Somerset, Man.

Farmers can now sign up directly with the CWB for some contracts, and choose their delivery point later, the CWB said. They may also contract through their "preferred CWB grain-handling partners.

As of Friday those partners include Cargill’s 29 Prairie elevators (12 in Saskatchewan, 10 in Alberta and seven in Manitoba) and, more recently, South West Terminal at Gull Lake, Sask., about 50 km west of Swift Current.

Handling agreements are also expected to be reached "shortly" with all other Prairie grain companies, giving farmers "a wider range of delivery choices than any other contract available," the CWB said Thursday.

Sign-up periods for the CWB’s new harvest pool and early delivery pool run from March 29 to Oct. 31 and from March 29 to Sept. 28, respectively, or until the pools are "fully subscribed," whichever comes first.

White said he expects the CWB’s pricing pools to be a "popular marketing approach" for many growers.

"Our pool contracts provide simple, effective risk management and marketing that ensure farmers will never be forced to settle for the bottom of the market or chase an elusive market high," he said.

"With one CWB contract, farmers are covered in terms of sales planning, execution, foreign exchange and risk management — including the risk from grade spreads, which can be a significant issue for spring wheat in particular."

If market rallies occur after contracts are signed, the CWB said, "only pooling ensures that farmers continue to share in the additional revenue."

Related story:
CWB fleshes out wheat pricing options, March 19, 2012

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