|Open Market Arrives|
|Written by Neil Billinger|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 16:41|
The waiting is over for supporters of an open market for wheat, durum and barley.
Farmers have the option of selling these crops to various grain companies or going through a voluntary CWB.
"The prices look great and I think there couldn't be a more opportune time for it to happen," says Cherilyn Nagel, a Mossbank farmer and a past president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.
Nagel will be one of hundreds of producers attending a celebration early Wednesday afternoon at a farm in the Kindersley area. The keynote speaker will be Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Meantime, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz acknowledges having received inquires about selling the CWB.
"They have a five year window where the government continues to backstop them (initial payments) as they did when they were the single desk. Having said that, within two to three years they are to come forward to the Minister of the day with a plan on how they move forward. We have already had a couple of entities come forward saying they would love to buy the CWB already. They (CWB) have a tremendous rolodex of marketing around the world and they wanted to capture that. We are not prepared to entertain that takeover that quickly. I think there are some great roles for the CWB to play in the next two to three years and we will analyze it at that point. So, there is no rush."
The CWB has marketing agreements with Louis Dreyfus, Cargill, Viterra and several smaller grain companies. Those deals are needed because the CWB does not own any elevators or port terminals.