The Manitoba Canola Growers Association has opened a can of worms by conducting a farmer survey on the voluntary marketing of canola through the Canadian Wheat Board. The arguments for and against the single desk are well known. In this case, just the idea of voluntary canola marketing by the board has caused a wave of opposition. It should be noted that Manitoba Canola Growers is exploring the issue based on a request from its farmer members. Some producers like the idea of price pooling and there’s a perception that basis levels on canola are sometimes too wide. On top of that, the interested producers wonder about the use of producer cars for canola and the use of the Port of Churchill should the board be involved. Check out the Manitoba Canola Growers Association website for more information. The association says it supports the open market concept for canola. Voluntary canola marketing through the CWB would be just another option. If there aren’t enough producers willing to market some of their canola production in this manner, the idea will not proceed. That’s likely what will happen. However, it’s a reasonable idea to investigate and the visceral opposition is unwarranted.
I’m Kevin Hursh.