GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO, the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA), and the Ontario Canola Growers have recently updated the recommended industry Code of Practice for trade in barley, canola, corn, oats, and wheat in Ontario.
The Code of Practice, which must be posted at each licensed country or terminal elevator, specifies how deliveries to country or terminal elevators will be inspected and serves as a framework on how disputes should be addressed.
The updated code establishes responsibilities for farmers delivering and elevators receiving grain. It reaffirms that barley, corn, canola, oats, and wheat (identified commodities) are to be inspected at delivery on the basis of the grades established under the Canada Grain Act. Elevators and operators are expected to have the necessary equipment, calibration charts, and trained personnel to ensure that results are consistent with the standards set by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). After the grain has been inspected, the farmer can request the grade, dockage, condition, and moisture that was assigned to the load.
At the time of delivery, a sample of grain, no less than 1 kg in weight, will be taken and retained for a period of 24 hours. If a dispute is initiated, the sample will then be sent to a third-party lab or the CGC for analysis. The Code also specifies how the costs associated with testing will be handled, with the producer and elevator sharing the cost of forwarding the grain sample, and the fees associated with testing the sample the responsibility of the party found to be in error.
For other quality commercial specifications outside of the CGC standards, such as falling number and DON, the agreed contract terms will prevail. If testing is conducted by the elevator operator at the time of delivery and the delivery agent wishes to initiate a dispute, a sample can be sent to a third-party for assessment and the dispute resolution process followed.
Soybeans are covered under the Agreement for the Marketing of the Ontario soybean crop which was agreed upon in 2016.
The agreement applies to farmer deliveries of soybeans and allows for market forces to dictate the costs associated with drying and handling soybeans.
Under the terms of the agreement, charges for cleaning and handling, and drying charges/moisture discounts are to be agreed upon by the farmer and the dealer through competitive market forces prior to delivery.
Disputes can be addressed by forwarding a sample to a CGC inspector or another mutually agreed-upon third party inspector. The Agreement specifies how expenses related to inspection will be allocated between the parties.
Grain Farmers of Ontario has worked closely with industry partners to update the Code of Practice.
“It’s important that farmers and elevator operators have a clear, concise, and detailed framework that outlines how their crops will be assessed and graded,” says Dana Dickerson, manager of market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We also want to ensure that any disputes are handled quickly, efficiently, and transparently.”
“There have been significant changes to the grain industry since the Code of Practice was first established. Ontario Agri Business Association was pleased to work with Grain Farmers of Ontario and Ontario Canola Growers to review and update this document to ensure it properly reflects current conditions and will be an important tool for both elevators and producers,” says Ron Campbell, operations and member services manager at OABA.
The updated Code of Practice and 2022 soybean marketing Agreement can be found online at www.gfo.ca/marketing. •