The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) wants rail companies to be prepared for what could be a large crop this year.
It is anyone’s guess whether it will reach the record-setting levels farmers experienced in 2013 (38.4 million tonnes, according to Statistics Canada), but either way, APAS president Norm Hall wants rail companies to be ready.
“If you remember three years ago when we had the potential of a huge crop, and turned out to be the largest crop on record, the railroads used the excuse that oh, we didn’t know this was coming, we weren’t prepared for it,” explained Hall in an interview with News Talk Radio.
As a result there were massive shipping backlogs, and in the end, it cost prairie producers $1.5 billion in lost revenues.
To avoid that from happening again, Hall wants the rail companies to be prepared just in case the crop turns out to be close to 2013 levels.
Hall said, right now, he is just getting the word out, but plans to contact the rail companies in the near future. It is a conversation he’s never had with the companies before, but feels they would be receptive to what he has to say.
In terms of the crop, Hall said there has been warm weather, enough moisture, and so far there has not been any major problems with bugs or diseases.
“The potential for a good crop is fantastic. Generally across the province we’ve had great growing conditions.”