Prairie wheat, barley commissions’ single checkoffs set

(Canada Beef Inc. photo)

The post-deregulation era of Prairie grain research and market development funding is cleared to begin, as the three Prairie provinces’ wheat and barley commissions have set new single checkoffs on Prairie wheat and barley, all starting Aug. 1.

The Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) on Wednesday announced that when the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) on wheat and barley sunsets on July 31, the association’s new single checkoffs will be $1 per tonne for spring wheat and $1.06 per tonne for barley, effective Aug. 1.

The MWBGA checkoffs will combine the association’s own checkoffs with the WCD — a separate levy which, until July 31, is charged at 48 cents per tonne on sales of spring wheat and 56 cents per tonne on barley.

The WCD checkoffs were set up by the federal government in 2012 as a transition move following its deregulation of the CWB’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley, to support the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and Cigi, the Canadian International Grains Institute.

Funding the association’s own work, along with the obligations covered until the end of this month by the WCD, a single checkoff is expected to “improve efficiency and effectiveness at no extra cost to farmers,” the MWBGA said in a release.

For its part, the regulatory amendment submitted to the province, following a resolution at the association’s annual meeting earlier this year, “will allow MWBGA to continue providing leadership for continuity of funding to wheat and barley variety development, as well as tackle other important research- and market development-related questions,” chairman Fred Greig said in Wednesday’s release.

Alberta’s and Saskatchewan’s spring wheat and barley commissions have also received amendments for their own respective single checkoffs once the WCD ends, MWBGA noted.

Sask Wheat had previously announced it would set its single checkoff on spring wheat, starting Aug. 1, at $1 per tonne, as per a resolution by Saskatchewan wheat growers earlier this year emphasizing that they “will face no net increase in checkoffs.”

Sask Barley also previously announced its single checkoff, starting Aug. 1, will be maintained at $1.06 per tonne.

The Alberta Wheat Commission also already announced plans to set a single checkoff, at $1.09 per tonne on wheat, starting Aug. 1.

That’s down from the combined AWC and WCD levies of $1.18 per tonne, “consolidating all current AWC programs and WCD obligations in a model directly accountable to Alberta farmers,” the commission said.

Alberta Barley’s levy starting Aug. 1 will be $1.20 per tonne, applying to Alberta sales of “every type” of barley, including feed, malt, food and other uses.

Winter Cereals Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, which currently administer their individual 50-cent per tonne checkoffs on winter wheat sales, have also received regulatory amendments to move to a single checkoff on winter wheat, MWBGA noted Wednesday. — Network

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