Canadians and Americans share the largest border in the world which creates similar opportunities and challenges for farmers no matter where they reside in relation to the 49th parallel. When the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk fell, Western Canadian growers looked forward to some of the same free market opportunities that American growers in Montana and North Dakota enjoy.
In my opinion, we are improving the system when we learn from how other countries do things and learn from their successes and mistakes.
There are still differences between the two countries in how the wheat market is structured and functions. Whether it’s the grading system, variety registration system, research funding, or transportation freight rates, growers in Canada and the northern plains see positive and negative differences.
During the USMCA negotiations, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), Western Wheat Growers Association and checkoff commissions like Alberta Wheat lobbied their respective sides to solve the unfair practice of grading all imported U.S. wheat as feed.
Potential regulation harmonization does not have to stop there as all wheat farmers want the most productive and efficient system to increase grower profitability. Other issues for growers to consider:
- grading wheat on spec vs. visual quality
- benefits and/or negatives of the maximum revenue entitlement for the railways
- how varieties are registered
- how breeding is funded to maintain competitiveness
All of the above are critical points of discussion that RealAgriculture plans to dig deeper into over the course of the winter.
Listen to RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney and Gordon Stoner, the immediate past president of NAWG discuss the differences between Canada and the U.S. in terms of all issues that impact wheat growers.