Farmer Focus: Richard Crewe wants Canadian Wheat Board to compete

A little snow and a couple of nights down to -20C mean winter is here. On the farm nothing much is moving except hunters in bright orange coveralls looking for white-tailed deer. Grain movement is almost non-existent.

I trucked 200t of canola to the Bunge crushing plant in Manitoba, as I needed the bin space to empty the machinery shop of oats piled where I store my tractors and other equipment under cover.

Oats are only £40/t and definitely off next year’s seeding list. I feel a large percentage of our 2008 crop will have a birthday here.

There’s a strange feeling in Saskatchewan which comes from the sense we are in the eye of a hurricane. Everything is calm and peaceful, with the province still posting positive income and economic growth, while the rest of the world is in turmoil.

Figures at a recent marketing meeting showed that if the US national debt was divided between every US household, each would owe over $1m.

Just before the US election of Barack Obama, with all its excitement, Canada had a general election (the third in four years) and it was a very dull affair.

I hope the re-elected Conservatives now complete their election promise of giving farmers freedom of choice in grain marketing.

It’s high time the World War II measure of compulsory marketing of all Western Canadian wheat and barley through the CWB was ended and the market opened up.

I’m not advocating the board’s end for those farmers who wish to continue with pool pricing. I just want it to compete for my grain, instead of selling a twelfth every month regardless.

Perhaps we could have a free, open North American market and leave the CWB to handle all Canadian overseas export sales, like in Australia.

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