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Agriculture

Sask producers hail S. Korean trade deal

The Government of Saskatchewan is calling a free trade deal signed between Canada and South Korea a win for farmers.

In a prepared statement following the Harper government's announcement of the agreement, the province pointed out that Saskatchewan exports to the Asian nation have taken a beating in recent years. That's because the U.S. and the European Union both signed trade deals with South Korea back in 2011, which left Canada at a competitive disadvantage.

Producers cautiously optimistic about government order

Grain farmers in Saskatchewan are glad the federal government is finally paying attention to the grain backlog that is costing them money and threatening next year's crop.

CP Rail says adding more trains won't solve grain backlog

The CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway says adding more trains during cold weather will not resolve the grain back-log.

Hunter Harrison published an open letter to the public on Thursday in an effort to "set the record straight" on railway operations. He insisted that the company is hauling more grain than ever before and aims to increase shipments by 20 per cent over last year.

CP Rail 'hauling more grain than ever before' says CEO

The CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway says adding more trains during cold weather will not resolve the grain back-log.

Canadian Pacific Rail CEO Hunter Harrison published an open letter to the public on Thursday in an effort to set the record straight on railway operations. He insisted that CP Rail is hauling more grain than ever before and aims to increase shipments by 20 per cent over last year.

Rail companies insist they're moving as much grain as possible

While many may be looking to lay blame for Canada's serious grain backlog at the feet of the two big rail companies a CN Rail spokesperson insists the company is doing all it can.

Farm equipment dealership not seeing impact from grain backlog

The grain transportation backlog affecting farmers across Saskatchewan and the Prairies has people wondering if there are spin-off impactson the local economy.

At least one farm equipment dealer in Regina says it is business as usual for them. Kirby Engele is the Operations Manager Young's Equipment and said he's hearing a bit of negative feedback but all-in-all everybody is still pretty positive.

"Well of course eventually it may have some impact. We feel it's going to be a short term effect," he said.

Saskatchewan asks Ottawa to end grain transportation backlog

The province of Saskatchewan is asking the federal government to introduce emergency legislation to deal with a grain transportation backlog. Premier Brad Wall introduced the motion on the first day of spring sitting at the legislature

Grain farmers across Western Canada are facing a transportation backlog with bumper crop sitting in bins for months. Monday's call to Ottawa was supposed to be a last result but Premier Wall said Saskatchewan has now reached that point.

Grain producers say rail companies have too much control

Grain farmers across Western Canada have heard enough talk and now they want to see action to solve the rail back-log because the longer they wait, the more money they stand to lose.

Norm Hall with the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan says demurrage penalties over delayed shipments to seaports are skyrocketing for grain companies. Last year he said the record for total demurrage payments was $23 million.

“At the six month mark we were at $25 million already with possibilities of hitting $53 to $70 million,” Hall explained.

Saskatchewan MLAs return to legislature for spring session

The spring session of the legislature kicks off Monday and Saskatchewan politicians are ready to get down to work.

“Certainly the number one issue in the province today is the backlog in commodity transportation. There’s just no question about it,” Premier Brad Wall told reporters last week.

Wall says clogged rail lines will be a focus for the province this sitting. The plan is to keep putting pressure on the federal government to take action with rail lines and grain companies.

Shareholders to vote on sale of Weyburn Inland Terminal

Shareholders in the Weyburn Inland Terminal (WIT) will decide Friday if the independent farmer-owned facility will be taken over by the Winnipeg-based grain company Parrish and Heimbecker.

Dale Mainil resigned from the terminal board of directors in protest over the sale and has been rallying opposition among shareholders ever since.

“Farmers can control and dictate the future of grain handling and that’s what’s happening and we don’t want to lose that,” he said. “There’s as much need now for an independent as there was 37 years ago.”

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