CWB needs deliveries through spring toward targets

(Resource News International) — The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is actively encouraging farmers to continue delivering high-quality wheat and durum through April and May in order to help meet sales commitments, despite the fact that spring is a time when farmers usually concentrate on seeding and fieldwork instead of moving grain.

“We’re projecting a very high export target for wheat this year,” said Mark Thibeault, senior manager of supply optimization with the CWB. The export program, he added, will likely end up very close to a 10-year record.

“In order to do this we’ll have to break the five- and 10-year averages for every month from now forward,” said Thibeault, noting that the CWB has been exceeding those averages since October and now needs to maintain that pace.

During the spring seeding season farmers typically deliver 250,000 tonnes of wheat into the system per week, but the CWB will need get 350,000 tonnes a week this year in order to meet its commitments, said Thibeault.

With the sales already on the books, “the last thing we’d want is to have vessels sitting there without any grain at the port,” said Thibeault. He said the CWB had strong sales through April and May, with June also filling up.

The lateness of the spring in Western Canada this year has kept deliveries from dropping off so far, said Thibeault. However, the late spring could also mean farmers will have a smaller window of opportunity for seeding when the time comes, which could make it more difficult to bring in deliveries, he added.

In order to keep farmers delivering during the busy spring season, the CWB is working through all available avenues to get the word out to producers, including print, radio, mail inserts and a phone campaign, said Thibeault.

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