Tag Archives: Canadian Grain Exporters

Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically Modified Crops

Since 1994, GM foods have been permitted to be sold in Canada. Currently, Canada’s growing of genetically modified crops is limited to canola, soybean, corn and sugar beets of which most are exported to foreign countries. The country is one of the largest exporters of GMO crops in the world. Recently, field tests have begun on growing GM alfalfa in Ontario and Quebec that have raised concern over the probable contamination of Canada’s naturally grown alfalfa crop through cross pollination.

Appearance of Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified crops were first produced in 1982 and by 1986; the first field trials were done on tobacco for herbicide resistance. In 1994, the United States approved its first food crop, a tomato. Since then, GM crops have exploded in variety and availability.

Claimed Benefits of GMOs

GMO crops do have their advantages:

  • Because they have been engineered to be more drought resistant, they can be grown in borderline areas and places that might not have been usable previously.
  • They can provide more nutrients such as the vitamin A in rice exported to countries with poor populations and malnutrition issues.
  • There is also a larger yield per acre with some crops and they are much more resistant to disease, herbicides and insect infestation.

Why is There Concern over GMOs?

Much discussion  has ensued over GM crops and whether they are environmentally safe. While the subject has been widely researched, there continues to be controversy over whether there has been enough proof found to be certain that GM crops are safe. It is not so much safety for human consumption, as it is safety for our environment.

The biggest issue appears to be cross-contamination of adjacent natural crops, which is almost impossible to control. Is this going to cause the eventual extinction of natural crops within a few decades? No one knows, as there has just not been enough long term research to determine what the outcome will be.

Barr-Ag

 

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any of our crops including Alfalfa, Timothy, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse crops.

Canadian Grain Exports

Canadian Grain Exports

Grain Trends North America – 2016

Canadian grain exports of wheat, excluding durum, have reached nearly 10 million tons between August 2015 and January 2016. This is up from the same 2014 to 2015 period by almost 19% (8.1 million tons). March 2016 prices are averaging approximately $4.40 per bushel. Durum wheat is projecting a slight acreage increase due to the better prices in 2015.

With Canadian grain exports of 24.1 million tons this past year, Canada overtook the United States in wheat exports for the first time. This looks to be an ongoing trend with slight fluctuations over the next several years.

Globally, wheat production is trending lower for 2016. The U.S. projects the lowest exports since 1971 due to competition from other countries, including Canada. In addition, the higher prices and demand for pulses, or legume seeds, indicates a decrease in acreage for wheat and an increase for the pulses.

Canola is currently up from 4.1 million tons to 4.8 million tons for the crop year. This is a significant increase from the five-year average. Canola prices average $10.00 per bushel according to the latest prices and it doesn’t appear there will be much change in acreage.

There is a growing trend towards the production of pulses due to their high protein Dried Red Lentils - Pulse Cropscontent and increasing demand by consumers and restaurants. As the demand for this popular seed increases, it’s likely cereal grains will lose some acreage to pulse production. Prices are strong for lentils and peas at .25 to .40 per pound for lentils and $8.00 to $9.00 per bushel for yellow peas.

Overall, 2016 looks to be a mixed year for Canadian grain exports with wheat prices remaining stable and canola showing an increase. Pulses are likely to continue their current trend with a significant increase due to their growing popularity.

Barr-Ag

 

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa, Timothy, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse crops.

GMO Wheat

GMO Wheat

While many people have heard the term “GMO,” some do not know what it really means. The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding GMO wheat and other GMO foods, since many claim that they are unsafe to consume and negatively impact the planet. In fact, it is illegal to grow GMO wheat in Canada and the United States.

Wheat is one of the most widely consumed crops on our planet. It is used in bread, GMO Wheat and Breadnoodles, cereal, beer and several other products. Unfortunately, the supply of wheat can’t keep pace with the ever-expanding number of humans. Some believe that genetically modified wheat is the solution, since massive amounts can be grown in a short period of time compared to traditional wheat. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of wheat.

Pros

GMO wheat can be grown in large volumes, since it is resistant to infections and parasites, which are major threats to conventional wheat. Proponents argue that we should opt to devote our limited farmland to this type of wheat, since it is highly efficient compared to relatively slow-growing traditional wheat.

Some argue that genetically modified wheat is of higher quality because it carries extra nutrients that boost the crop’s nutritional value. Scientists alter wheat’s genetics to make it much healthier to consume. It is also worth noting that this type of wheat can withstand some severe environmental conditions, including brutal cold spells and drought.

Cons

Humanity has yet to experience the long-term results of genetically modified wheat consumption, leading opponents to argue that it is potentially dangerous to human health. This type of wheat might have a negative impact on consumers’ bodies, but the real consequences are still unclear. Opponents believe that genetically modified wheat compromises antibiotic resistance and even affects allergies.

Those against GMO wheat also believe that it harms the environment. Arguments pertaining to GMO wheat’s negative environmental impact are extensive. Some state that this wheat causes a decline in biodiversity where a single crop emerges into dominance. Others say it is responsible for cross-pollination in which other crops are forcefully replaced.

There are also social consequences to genetically modifying wheat. Since improvements in GMO wheat are expensive to implement at this point, only wealthy farmers are able to take the GMO route.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.

Canadian Grain Exports

Canadian Grain Exports

Canada as a top producer of wheat in the world, typically places seventh among major wheat producing countries in yearly comparisons.Across Canada, nearly 52,000 farmers grow wheat on over 22.8 million acres of Canadian land. Although wheat is grown across the country, the majority of the production of Canadian wheat exports takes place in Western Canada.

Canada is also the second largest exporter of wheat in international trade, averaging overCanadian Grain Exporters 20 million tonnes exported annually. In 2012, this number surpassed 27 million tonnes.Canadian grain exports account for approximately 21% of all wheat exports in the world market. Wheat export revenues in Canada total almost $5.4 billion each year. Some of the major importers of Canadian grain exports are China, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, Iraq, and the United States.

In addition to producing a large quantity of wheat, Canada is also renowned for the quality of its wheat. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) established quality standards in the Canada Grain Regulations Section 5. In addition to maintaining quality standards, the CGC records annual crop year data for wheat.

The CGC divided wheat into several unique classes, based on the grains functional characteristics. Growing regions in Canada, Western and Eastern, determine the categorization placed on the classes. Each class possesses a certain set of characteristics and is best suited for specific end uses.

Because of the superior quality of Canadian hard wheat, it is primarily used in the making of pastas and semolina. This hard wheat, also called durum, accounts for nearly half the total of world exports with Algeria and Italy the two largest customers.

Not only is Canada a leader in wheat exports it is now the second largest exporter of barley in the world with an average of 3.8 million tonnes per year capturing 22% of the world’s trade in brewing and feed barley.

Canadian grain exports dominate the market with nearly four million tonnes exported annually, it accounts for 80% of the total exports of canola, and 10% of the total oil seeds exports on the world market. To put these figures in perspective, the second highest exporter of canola, the European Union, only exports just over 300,000 tonnes each year. As demand for canola continue to grow, Canada’s canola industry is soon expected to exceed 12,000 tonnes per day.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.

Canadian Grain Exporters Benefit from Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act

picLast growing season western Canadian grain farmers produced 50% more crop than average, yielding about 76 million tonnes of Canadian grain.  That heavy yield, combined with a long and extremely cold winter, has put significant pressure on the handling and transportation system, slowing it down.  In an effort to maintain Canada’s reputation as a world supplier of grain to international markets, and to move more grain through the transportation system, Transport Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada came together to announce a plan of action.  This plan included setting regulations for the Canadian railway companies, enhancing monitoring, research and marketing programs for the grain sector.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt introduced the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act in Parliament in late March.  This new legislation will make changes to the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Grain Act, aiming to get more grain to market quickly in response to last year’s record crop year for Canadian grain producers.  New regulations are hoped to increase efficiencies in the grain handling and transportation system, strengthen contracts between producers and shippers and increase transparency in the supply change.

“For the past several months, the bumper crop of grain produced in Canada has not been moving fast enough to Canadian ports. This issue affects more than just our farmers – it affects trade and Canada’s ability to supply our markets around the world. We are taking this action to more than double grain shipments in order to preserve the integrity of Canada’s transportation system and our reputation as a global supplier.”  The Honourable Lisa Raitt Minister of Transport

The Order in Council announced in early March obligates the Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railways to increase their capacity to carry at least 500,000 metric tonnes of grain per week.  The two rail companies are also obligated to report on the volume of grain moved each week so the overall performance of grain movement can be analyzed in a more timely matter.  This came in effect on April 7th, 2014.  CN and CP face a penalty of up to $100,000 per day if they fail to comply.  Proposed legislation extends these requirements to August 3, but as it stands they are only imposed until June 7th, 2014.

Storm clouds over Saskatchewan grain terminal

These changes will also extend the limits for inter-switching.  Currently producers are able to switch their goods from one rail to another, at a fee, if they are within 30km of an interchange.  With the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, this range will be extended to 160km.  This means that the number of grain elevators with access to both railways moves from about 14 elevators to 150 elevators within multi-service radius.  This will greatly increase the amount of Canadian grain moved and assist in response to the incredible yield and the growing world market.

“Farmers and our economy need a system that works today and tomorrow, with the capacity to move what is grown.”  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

The Government of Canada has taken other steps to help improve the performance of the entire rail supply chain.  The Grain Monitoring Program will be enhanced to include more frequent reporting in order to expand the quality and quantity of data collected.  The Government is investing $1.5 million, matched by industry, in a Pulse Canada-led project of the pulse, oilseeds and grains industries in order to improve efficiencies and overall supply.  They’re also investing over $73.6 million in grain research and implementing marketing freedom for western Canadian wheat and barley growers.

For those seeking to export Canadian grain, this is positive news.  Barr-Ag Hay and Grain Exporters are always looking for opportunities to better serve our customers overseas, providing them with the high-quality Canadian grain they require.  This new legislation will help move our fantastic Canadian crops from the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies to international shipping ports and to our customers in a timely manner.

Grains from Canada

 

Sources:  http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=advSrch&crtr.page=2&crtr.dpt1D=6695&nid=822889

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=829579

http://www.realagriculture.com/2014/03/fair-rail-grain-farmers-act-aimed-getting-grain-moving/

Exporting Canadian Grain – The Grain Handling System

Candian Grain ExporterThe Canadian Grain industry is heavily regulated in Canada.  That means customers from overseas can always be provided with reliable, consistent product.  The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is an agency of the federal government.  It makes sure that all grain exported from Canada has been through the regulated grain handling system and has been officially certified.

Canadian grain such as oats, barley, wheat, and oil seeds are exported internationally and often travel great geographical distances.  Although Canadian grain are transported in massive quantities, they are not stored in terminals.  They are stored at farms that produced the grains.  Then, when a certain kind of Canadian grain is wanted by an international customer, it is delivered from the farmer and moved into export position.

Canada’s Grain Handling System

Canada’s unique grain handling system guarantees quality assurance as it defines and applies quality standards on all Canadian grain.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency registers varieties of grain grown in Canada after the specific plant lines are evaluated by the CGC.   To ensure all Canadian grain is reaching specific standards, the CGC uses grain grades to describe the quality of grain.  These grades and standards are reviewed regularly to make sure they meet the needs of customers and the needs of Canadian grain producers like Barr-Ag Hay and Grain Exporters.

The Canadian Grain Commission is always engaged in scientific research to better understand grain quality and discover new ways to grow, handle and ship it to Canada’s international grain buyers.  There are ongoing studies and research that continuously improve the grain grading system.  This helps the Canadian grain export industry understand how different grains reflect quality and what can be done to make it better.  The scientific research also helps growers increase harvest quality.  Grain samples are gathered and analyzed from Canadian grain producers.

As the grain moves through the grain handling system from farm to export facility, it is checked that accurate weights are maintained throughout the process and that the grain itself is safe.  Then when it is in the last stages of the grain handling system the grain is inspected at export to ensure that the grain meets Canada’s grain standards.  Even as the grain is loaded onto the vessel at the export terminal it is being monitored to ensure the correct weight is loaded.  At that point the grain is issued a Certificate Final.

The Certificate Final is Canada’s assurance that your shipment meets Canadian quality and quantity standards. For each export cargo of grain from Canada the Canadian Grain Commission issues a Certificate Final. On this certificate, you will see the official grade and weight of the grain loaded on the vessel.”  – Canadian Grain Commission

Exporting Canadian Grain – Barr-Ag Hay & Grain Exporters

Canadian GrainsBarr-AG is an exporter of Canadian Grains to countries around the globe. Canadian quality Oats, Barley, Wheat and oil seed such as flax and canola are all either produced on a Barr-AG farm or purchased and stored (from Canadian Farmers) and then exported Internationally.

Oats, barley and wheat, as well as flax, canola and peas come from our farms and/or our local network of Canadian Farm Producers who follow our growing protocols and adhere to our quality control standards. All of our grains, oil seeds and pulse crops are non-GMO. We specialize in containerizing and loading these products in 20 or 40 foot containers for international shipping and take care of the necessary customs documents.

Contact Barr-Ag for more information.

 

Source: http://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/index-eng.htm