Head Scratcher: CWB to Offer Canola Pools

Am I the only one left scratching my head over the newly minted CWB offering canola pools? Voluntary pooling is all good, if that’s what you’re in to, but I thought a very recent survey asking farmers if they’d be interested in a canola pool went over like a lead balloon. Apparently not, according to CWB.

The removal of CWB’s wheat and barley monopoly will and has forced the company to explore other options, there’s no question about that. The business simply must evolve, and diversification is a natural step. But as I read the news release announcing the expansion of pooled crops, this statement struck me (italics mine): “The farmer benefits of pooling apply just as successfully to canola as to wheat. Farmers retain all the profits generated from their grain sales, instead of simply taking a flat price at the elevator. It also means they can spend more time on their crops instead of chasing the commodity futures markets.” Is it just me or does this sound rather condescending? Most farmers I know have been doing a bang up job of marketing their own canola, quite successfully, in fact, making it a big money maker for the farm. While adding canola pools is a change for CWB, it sounds to like many things remain the same.

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5 thoughts on “Head Scratcher: CWB to Offer Canola Pools

  1. Lyndsey,
    It is true growers have shown a very successful capacity to market their canola, but I believe you are overlooking one major factor here. Averaging is the very tool they are using. Growers sell their production throughout the growing and marketing season to create a average total selling price. A pool or (pacesetter 0ffered through Cargill) does eliminate some marketing risk while taking less valuable time. I am not saying a pooled average (socialist) marketing plan is good for the totality of western Grain growers, but growers do, and should continue to, use averages with their own production. Furthermore, the CWB pool for canola is just another option, and if they offer competitive programs and pricing for canola it may force there marketing competitors (Viterra Glencore, P+H, richardson, Cargill, etc.) to offer a more attractive bid or added service. A more competitive environment may put dollars in western Canadian growers pockets. Just a less negative look!

  2. Forgive my ignorance but are producers truly marketing their grain or shopping for the best price and deciding when and how much to sell? Or is there a difference? Seems to me that it’s the grain companies that are doing the marketing and perhaps the CWB???

  3. Biggest, best, most: these are not words that describe contentment. A quick survey of how much land is farmed (or at least governed) by content farmers might be in order here.

  4. Competition is a good thing. CWB would not pull out this card unless they have a competitive advantage. This is good for everyone. Let us wach and learn.

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