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Monday, November 15, 2010

Whats Wrong With This Picture


No, not the one above showing my neighbour's wheat and my tractor and house. I'm referring to the price of the wheat in the picture. I just got the returns for a semi load and a half of spring wheat and the results are less than inspiring. The gross price per bushel is $3.20 per bushel which I guess is not all that bad for #3 wheat (although I really question the grade as it is sure some nice heavy wheat.
The net price per bushel is a different story. By the time all the deductions such as elevation, rail freight, terminal cleaning, weighing and inspection, are taken into considerations, I end up with the princely sum of $1.70 per bushel. My Dad was getting that much for the same wheat back in the 1960s. True enough, theres a good chance the wheat board will have an interim and final payment coming to us later this year so it may look a little better then. But still, when over half the value of your grain is deducted by the "middle man" it makes me wonder why we are bothering to grow wheat .

4 comments:

  1. We have no bargaining power Ralph. Plus your tractor needs a coat of paint...

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  2. I'm sure you've heard it said that the farmer is one of the few businessmen who has to buy retail while selling wholesale. That doesn't help the bottom line, either. That, and things like wheat prices, were why co-ops were formed, but they didn't seem to pan out most places.

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  3. Budde, yes the tractor needs paint. Surprised you didn't comment on the house too.
    Gorges, Saskatchewan used to big on Co-ops but they are fading as time passes. The mighty Sask. Wheat Pool was formed in 1923 and became one of our biggest grain companies. Through a series of buyouts and name changes the SWP no longer exists but became part of an even bigger company, Viterra.
    Used to be the farmers were owner/board members of the SWP and had some say in what went on. Not anymore. Viterra is more interested in increasing share dividends for the stock market than what the farmer has to say these days.

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