Cautious support for recently announced grain grading changes

As reported in the previous issue of CAAR network, CGC announced changes to the following areas:  

  • Severely sprouted definition for western wheat
  • Test weight and total foreign material alignment for some wheat classes
  • Other updates and clarifications

The CGC says the updated standards are founded on science-based outcomes regarding sprouting, test weight and foreign material tolerances.

Wheat Growers President Gunter Jochum stated in a media release, “While supportive of many of the changes, using the stringent export tolerances for test weights and total foreign matter at elevator driveways will be an area the Wheat Growers are watching.”

It is unclear how aligning primary elevator standards with export standards will benefit Canadian farmers. It would be appropriate for the CGC to share any economic impact studies these changes will have on producers.

We fully support the new definition of sprouted wheat and the clarification of screen size for grading canola. These changes are crucial in addressing grading inconsistencies at primary elevators. As Wheat Growers, we have long advocated for modifications prioritizing science-based testing over visual inspection. It’s a significant step towards fair and accurate grading practices.

The support of wheat growers was announced before Statistics Canada’s recent report that planted wheat has risen to its highest level in more than two decades across Canada.  Farmers reported planting 26.9 million acres of wheat in 2023, up 6.7 percent from 2022 data. Statistics Canada says the increase in the total wheat area may be attributed to favourable prices and stronger global demand. This year, the higher amount of wheat planting was led by spring wheat (+8.0 percent to 19.5 million acres) and durum wheat area (+0.5 percent to 6.0 million acres).

Please share any concerns or comments with CAAR Executive Director Mitch Rezansoff at 204-989-9303.

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