GFM Network News


Anti-pipeline blockades — like this one in Edmonton in mid-February — are only part of the reason
why grain is backed up. But the situation will take months to fully be resolved.

Grain is moving but it will take months to catch up

Canada’s reputation as a reliable grain supplier has taken a hit

There won’t be a quick fix for a ‘perfect storm’ that has set grain movement back by at least three months. The problems started with the late harvest across the Prairies followed by the week-long CN Rail strike in November and then cold weather and mudslides. By the time the anti-pipeline rail blockades hit in […] Read more

Farmers dump bags of corn grain in front of the Papineau riding office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, as they protest the lack of propane due to the CN strike, on Nov. 25, 2019.

Make rail transport an essential service, say crop commissions

Wheat and barley commissions say crop sector can’t afford to have strikes ‘every few years’

The longest rail strike in a decade is over, but the need for a new way to deal with rail disruptions is as pressing as ever, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley. “The threat of strikes affecting grain movement is a recurring theme every few years and we need a long-term solution to ensure Canada […] Read more


Canola is currently being used to backfill other plant oils. Buyers in China are still in need of oil, but are looking for other varieties to meet their demand.

To store or sell canola? That is the question

As grain companies try to boost sales in other countries, growers ponder long-term storage

China’s ban on Canadian canola means that farmers have to take different strategies this year. Some are planning to store their canola on farm, while others are planning to sell. “Anything that has been ordered already, companies are honouring those canola contracts,” said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. “They’re pencilling […] Read more

Farm groups blast grain commission for refusing to give back surplus

Federal grain agency plans to spend $90 million on more services, but farm leaders want fees reduced

Alberta’s wheat and barley commissions and the Grain Growers of Canada are unhappy that the Canadian Grain Commission won’t be giving back $90 million in surplus service fees it collected from Prairie farmers. “Over the past five to six years, the Canadian Grain Commission has built up a surplus of funds based on user fees […] Read more


The new G3 Canada elevator in Wetaskiwin will feed the new G3 Terminal Vancouver (pictured), which is expected to be up and running by 2020.

They just keep coming — another new elevator going up

New 42,000-tonne grain terminal marks G3’s first, but not last, foray into Alberta

G3 Canada is expanding west with two new elevators on the Prairies — including its first in Alberta. The new elevator to be built in Westaskiwin will be a state-of-the-art, high-throughput facility, said the company’s vice-president of business development. “Alberta is a province of growth for us,” said Brett Malkoske. “Since we formed G3 (in […] Read more

Richardson International’s Jean-Marc Ruest says his company’s decision to withdraw from the Canola Council of Canada came after almost a year of talks aimed at making the associations more efficient and funding more equitable.

Richardson pullout roils canola sector

Alberta Canola backs council, saying its marketing efforts and agronomic support are key to canola’s success

Richardson International’s decision not to renew its membership means a big financial hit for the Canola Council of Canada, but it could have been even worse. According to several reliable sources, Viterra had planned to leave too, but changed course — possibly because of a big cut in membership fees. Losing Canada’s two biggest grain […] Read more


Cash ticket deferral option to remain unchanged

The federal government is leaving its deferred cash purchase ticket policy unchanged. When listed grains (wheat, oats, barley, rye, flax, canola, rapeseed) are delivered for payment at a licensed elevator, an elevator operator can issue either a cash purchase ticket or a deferred cash purchase ticket, payable in the year following the year in which […] Read more

Improving rail service and encouraging expansion at the Port of Prince Rupert is critical to improving Western Canada’s future prospects as a grain exporter, says AGT Foods CEO Murad Al-Katib.

Prince Rupert needs to be part of rail transport revamp

Expanding the northern B.C. port should be a key part of $10.1-billion plan to improve transportation

The Port of Prince Rupert should be a major beneficiary of Ottawa’s $10.1-billion pledge to revamp transportation routes to international markets, says one of the world’s biggest pulse exporters. “Prince Rupert is a major opportunity — when we look at Pacific gateway access, we need a balanced approach between Vancouver and the Port of Prince […] Read more


While railway executives say there’s now capacity to deal with a big crop, the grain industry is a bit more skeptical.

Railways asking industry to all pull together

To move the coming big crop efficiently will require better 
co-operation throughout the supply chain, say railway execs

With memories of the grain-handling chaos of 2014 still fresh and another large Prairie crop looming, the railways are calling for greater collaboration in moving this year’s harvest. “To ensure success during this crop year, the broader supply chain must work together to collectively harness our energy so that the entire Canadian economy can reap […] Read more

A record amount of grain was moved through West Coast terminals in the last crop year, but Alberta crop commissions say 
the system still isn’t working properly.

Grain transport problems solved? Not quite

Mandated minimums for grain movement are set to expire this summer — 
but Alberta crop industry leaders say they’re still needed

Canada’s railways moved a record amount of grain for the 2014-15 crop year — but any improvements were mostly thanks to luck, not fixes to the system, say users. “A lot of the same issues that were evident in 2013 and 2014 are still there, but we’ve had a good run based on excellent weather, […] Read more