Monthly Archives: March 2014

Prairie Farmers and the Railways



A former post about this was made direct on the facebook page and it got deleted (along with all the likes and shares), I’m going to try it again.

Here is a call to action for farmers across the Canadian prairies;

The grain companies are in the process of lobbying/marketing to cast the farmers in a negative light and to make it look like they are innocent in the recent grain movement crisis. CP’s Hunter Harrison speaking to a wall street audience, recently said bulk shipments, including grain, were ‘modestly’ affected this winter. He seems to have no intention of acknowledging the impact the poor rail service has had on farmers and grain elevators across the prairies. For those of you that don’t know about the situation here, the railways have focused on shipping commodities other than grain across the country this winter. This has left grain elevators plugged and farmers unable to haul in their grain and clean up temporary storage (which may now sit at risk of spoilage due to spring melt). The cash flow across prairie farms slowed to a crawl and left many producers in a very tight spot. Ships sat at port empty for weeks waiting to transport grain to other countries while elevators paid fines up to $100,000 a day because they couldn’t fill the ships. Prices dropped (Canola for example dropped from around $12.00+ a bushel to lower than $8.50 a bushel) and most places wouldn’t even let you haul it in at the low price because they were full. An entire industry sat around and waited for the railway, and everyone lost money.  If we let this issue die quietly then no changes will be made and Canada’s reputation as a reliable grain exporter will suffer.  That will affect everyone in the Ag industry in Canada. If your farm, your business or your place of work has been affected at all by the railways neglect this winter please share your story in the comments, like or share this post to help raise awareness.  Also, let us know what you think; is the amount the railways take off our cheques (for shipping grain months late) fair? A modest 25% plus was taken by the ‘poor’ railways on the one pictured in this post….


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