The Federal Government’s Grain Transportation Roundtable on Wednesday in Saskatoon brought together railways, grain companies, and farm organizations.

In the last few years, farmers have seen a real issue with getting the crop to market especially through the winter.

The Federal Government, in consultation with the grain sector, revised legislation and developed Bill C-49 in an effort to see things run smoother.

Both railways’ laid out their strategies for moving grain this winter.

CN Rail's CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest believes capital purchases like new locomotives, hopper cars, and additional employees will make a difference for CN this winter when it comes to grain transportation.

“Cars are being built in Hamilton they’ll be delivered in winter time, locomotives being built in Texas they’ve been being delivered since the month of June. We’ve been hiring people since last fall, take six months to train them, we have more and more qualified conductors. This year we are investing $400 million dollars of track and double-siding in Western Canada so we can put more trains on the grid.  All of these things take time, but we will have a lot of these resources entering the next winter, the coming winter."

CP sent out a release following the meeting saying it will move the crop in close collaboration with its customers and the broader supply chain.  The railway says it has a target of spotting 55-hundred hopper cars per week until the Port of Thunder Bay closes for the winter; after that, they plan to target about 4000 cars per week.

Under Bill C-49 reciprocal penalties are in place for poor railway performance that leads to grain backlogs, like we had last winter.

Kevin Hursh, the Executive Director of the Inland Terminal Association of Canada, was part of the discussion and says the railways are trying to improve communication.

“They realize there is a powerful organized lobby with reasonable ideas. I think it is the dawning of a really interesting time with Bill C-49 coming to fruition.”

Overall Transport Minister Marc Garneau says he’s looking for 'resiliency in the system.

“Particularly when we face things that we can’t totally predict ahead of time.  I mean if we could predict the weather ahead of time in the winter; if we could predict the market price for grain and how big harvests would be, we would have less of a challenge. What we want to make sure is in place is as reliable as possible railway transportation system to get their grain to market.”

The hour and a half Grain Transportation Roundtable discussion in Saskatoon coincided with the Federal Liberals' caucus retreat.

More Ag News

Mental Health First Aid Program Announced

The Do More Agriculture Foundation and Farm Credit Canada are teaming up to provide mental health first aid training to agriculture communities. The 2-day Mental Health First Aid program will teach…

Harvest Efforts Continue To Support Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Harvest efforts are continuing in support of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Another project was combined this week south of Winnipeg, as the CHIP IN (Creating Hope In People In Need) group harvested…

CFA Focusing On Trade As MP's Return To Ottawa

MP's are back in Ottawa this week after the summer break. Canadian Federation of Agriculture President Ron Bonnett says they'll be keeping a close eye on Bill C-79, which would implement the…

Deputy Ag Minister Gingera-Beauchemin Being Honoured

Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister for Manitoba Agriculture, is being recognized for her work on Manitoba-Japan relations. She'll be honoured at an awards ceremony hosted by Consul-General…

(VIDEO) City Students Learn About Farming

Students from Winnipeg and rural Manitoba are getting a chance to see what farming is all about this week at the Amazing Agriculture Adventure. The 3-day event, which features a dozen interactive…

Statistics Canada Forecasting Record Corn Crop

Statistics Canada is predicting a record corn for grain crop this year. The agency's model-based principal field crop estimates forecast record production of 14.5 million tonnes of corn for grain.…

Manitoba Beef Producers Welcomes Drought Relief Measures

Due to this year's dry conditions, the province has made changes to the Ag Action Manitoba program to enable funding for water source development, which includes wells and dugouts. Manitoba Beef…

Corn Harvest Begins

The grain corn harvest is underway in Manitoba. "There has been some grain [corn] harvesting happening in the Altona region and also in the Elm Creek region," said Anastasia Kubinec with Manitoba…

Combines Sitting As Of Late

Manitoba Agriculture says there was little to no harvest progress made over the past week because of the rainfall, high humidity and cool temperatures. Progress remains steady at about 65 per cent…

It's Not Too Early To Soil Test

The province's soil fertility specialist John Heard says it's not too early to start soil testing in preparation for fall fertilizer applications. "The best time to sample is close to when the crop…

PembinaValleyOnline.com is your only local source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login