Sask Wheat calls for quick end to rail blockades

The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) is calling on the federal and provincial governments to take quick action that will see the rail blockades removed so western Canadian grain shipments can move to port.
“Farmers are already feeling the impacts of the rail blockades across the country,” said Sask Wheat Chair Brett Halstead. “This is getting worse every day, with farmers experiencing delivery delays and missing marketing opportunities with their local elevators, which is putting us in a tough financial situation. If the blockade lasts much longer, it could create a huge crisis for grain farmers.”
The blockades have exacerbated an already difficult crop year for grain farmers, who faced poor harvest conditions in 2019 and a railway stoppage in November. Overall, exports of all wheat for the current crop year were down almost six percent at the beginning of February relative to at the same time last year, and the rail blockades will likely impact exports further.
“Ships are lining up at Prince Rupert and Vancouver, and even if this is situation is solved quickly, it will mean delays that will last for several weeks,” said Halstead. “This will have a major impact on Canada’s reputation as a reliable provider of grain to our export customers, pushing our major customers to look elsewhere. The longer these blockades are in place, the more likely this will impact export movement and prices, potentially into the next growing season.”

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