CGC backtracks on wheat test weight standard changes

Using a chondrometer to calculate Avery bushel weight photo courtesy Canadian Grain Commission)

The Canadian Grain Commission is backtracking on planned changes to wheat test weight standards after farmers and a diverse group of farm organizations raised concerns about the move.

On Friday morning the CGC announced it will repeal the regulatory changes that are set to take effect on Tuesday, Aug. 1 as soon as possible.

Under current rules, hard red spring wheat at export terminals must weigh at least 63.3 lb/bushel to meet #1 grade, while the standard at country elevators is 60.1 lb/bushel. As part of the CGC’s effort to modernize grain grading, it announced a plan in June to harmonize the rules under the higher export standard for most spring wheat classes as of Aug. 1.

The change would have resulted in some wheat that currently qualifies as #1 grade being downgraded at country elevators, as it wouldn’t meet the higher export standard.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Wheat Growers Association and National Farmers Union were among the groups that demanded the government and Grain Commission cancel the test weight standard change.

“The CGC had moved so quickly on this decision that it was already established as a regulatory change announced on July 19, 2023. This was despite majority opposition by members of the Western Standards Committee at its April 4, 2023 meeting which the CGC has referenced as its major consultation with the grain sector on this issue,” says Sask Wheat chair Brett Halstead, welcoming the CGC’s decision to reverse course. “Sask Wheat has consistently maintained for several years that an economic study for what is, essentially, an economic issue for producers is necessary before any further consideration of such change is contemplated.”

“The majority of the farmers on the CGC Western Standards Committee were opposed to these changes. These are the farmers that represent the many prairie farmers who would be negatively impacted by the proposed changes,” notes Wheat Growers’ chair Daryl Fransoo, in a news release.

The CGC says it’s also repealing the harmonization of foreign material standards for the same wheat classes.

Updated with quotes.

Related:

Unlikely partners NFU and Wheat Growers join forces to call for halt to grain grading changes

APAS and Sask Wheat asking for a halt to proposed harmonized test weight standard

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