The Canadian Wheat Board has been warning producers to exercise caution when signing malting barley contracts. Knowing the terms and conditions and understanding what you’re signing is good advice with any contract. With malting barley, it’s also a good idea to check primary elevator tariffs. The published rates are the maximum a grain company can charge for receiving, elevation and loading out. These rates are available on the Canadian Grain Commission website. When you look at the rates, one company stands out. Most companies on most grains have a maximum posted rate of somewhere between $10 and $25 a tonne. However, Canada Malting Co. Ltd. with its big malting plant in Calgary and other plants in other cities is posting a maximum handling tariff of $100 a tonne. If you go back and examine past postings, Canada Malting was at $40 a tonne early in the crop year and then it suddenly bumped rates to the ridiculous level of $100. Many producers have reported contractual problems with Canada Malting. Since the company can legally charge its maximum published tariff, there’s probably no way a producer can actually win a contract dispute. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC