Seeding-1 Russ
(file photo: Russ Skeet)


Thursday August 1st marked the first anniversary for the open market for western Canadian wheat and barley.

Along with the end of the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk, the Alberta Barley Commission became the administrator of a new checkoff system to fund market development and research.

The funding goes to the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and the Canadian International Grains Institute.

"The reason the Alberta Barley Commission took on administration of this program was because the board strongly believes farmers should be in charge of farmer checkoff dollars," explains ABC General Manager Lisa Skierka.

ABC will administer the checkoff program for up to another four years, by when the industry is supposed to have developed its own funding mechanism. Alberta and Sasktachewan have established provincial agencies that will collect the levy, and work is underway in Manitoba to give the new Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association the same authority.

"The handoff is entirely in the hands of Agriculture Canada and the other organizations that may want to take on this deduction in the future," says Skierka.

An annual report with more information on the total number of dollars collected and distributed through the checkoff will be published in late fall.

Deduction breakdown:
$0.30 to the WGRF
$0.15 to Cigi
$0.03 for administration

$0.50 to the WGRF
$0.03 to the CMBTC
$0.03 for administration