The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) are asking Prairie grain farmers to be prepared for the upcoming reclassification of 29 wheat varieties.
On August 1, 2018, 25 varieties of wheat currently classified as Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and four varieties currently classified as Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) will be reclassified into the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class.
â€śWe want farmers to have a plan to market any remaining wheat that is transitioning to a new class on August 1,â€ť says Sask Wheat Chair Laura Reiter. â€śIt is important farmers know what they have in their bins and that they communicate with their local elevator or buyers soon to make sure they are able to maximize the return on these varieties.â€ť
In February 2015, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) announced the Canadian wheat class modernization process. The process was undertaken to maintain the quality, enhance the consistency and support the marketability of Canadian wheat. In December 2015, the CGC announced the creation of the CNHR and Canada Western Special Purpose wheat classes.
Many producers have been preparing over the last two years by transitioning to varieties not designated for reclassification. However, according to the CGCâ€™s 2017 Grain Varieties by Acreage Insured Report, 491,108 acres of wheat varieties which are designated for the CNHR class on August 1, including Harvest, Lillian and Unity, were still grown in Western Canada in 2017.
â€śThe CGC is not allowing any grace period for producers after the July 31st deadline,â€ť said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. â€śWe therefore think itâ€™s important that farmers negotiate the best possible terms for the varieties being reclassified and be aware that grain companies will have until December 31, 2018 to ship any remaining stocks from the system as CWRS and CPSR.â€ť
Producers who have a contracted delivery date after August 1 for a transitioning variety should contact their elevator or grain buyer as soon as possible to ensure their grain will be accepted as CWRS or CPSR. Wheat varieties classified as CNHR are expected to sell at a discount to the CWRS and CPSR classes.
â€śThe MWBGA is happy to partner with our fellow wheat organizations in communicating to Western Canadian producers the importance of making a transition plan,â€ť says Fred Greig, MWBGA Chair. â€śMaintaining the quality of the CWRS class is important to Canadaâ€™s reputation and will benefit farmers. While the reclassified varieties are still registered and can be grown, we strongly recommend that farmers arrange their marketing options for these varieties prior to future plantings.â€ť