Is everybody ready for a potentially record setting crop?
APAS said it's 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.
So, APAS is asking the railroads to be ready to handle the grain - but they are the end of the system - the system begins with farmers?
Are farmers ready to harvest the crop within the small window of opportunity presented by crop development and the weather.
Are the combine(s) fast enough? Are there enough trucks ready to move the grain to a bin or bagging area? Maybe the ground is wet, so is a grain cart ready to move the grain off the field towards a truck, bin, or bagging area? Is the bagger ready with enough bags? Are the transfers, augers or conveyors able to quickly unload the grain and move it, which allows for the combine to keep moving without having to wait for unloading?
And after moving the grain by rail, are the ports and ships ready?
APAS has put rail on notice, but what about the rest of the system?