The plain dealer

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Dear editor,

The private elevator companies and the railways are expecting more revenue at the expense of the farmers’ income if Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz destroys our CWB.

The power of price negotiation for farmers is reduced if we lose the CWB bargaining agency and thus buyers wield more power to set their price where they like. This will cost us.

This is a time to vote, and with wisdom, keep the CWB.

This is a time for clarity, not a wait and see attitude. The prospect of wide price variation from one day to the next does not speak to a farmer’s selling skills or genius, but to fate and to fate alone.

What actions are you taking that can influence increased market value? Individually and unorganized, our only market tool for this is withholding crop or shortage of crop–neither of which earn us much value. (It also increases storage costs large scale farmer or modest scale.)

All our experience as farmers should count in the analysis of the CWB benefit to us. So why would someone propose that we should not have a CWB? Because they speak for grain traders and dealers who would increase their take of our revenue? Try to sell hogs or cattle and pick the ‘right’ time, it becomes a matter of luck.

So Ritz’s answer is for us to use luck to our benefit—not much strength or stability with luck–we have bills to be paid. This is why farmers wish to maintain the guarantee of payment for delivery via the CWB and CGC.

Remember that when the Coop Elevators were started they had no facilities. After only one year of using others’ facilities the farmers decided that is enough of that and organized themselves to build their own elevators and terminals to avoid the costs of others’ mistakes.

We should still have our Coop Elevators except for bungling CEO’s and complacency.

We do not need a bungling Ritz to cause us to lose our Single Desk Marketing strength with the CWB. Mister Ritz is asking us to sell into a pool that would not have the maximum market value—his lack of plan makes no economic sense.

Ian L. Robson

Deleau, Man.