Some farmers are starting to get worried due to a backlog in the railway system.
Daryl Fransoo, director for the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, told Murray Wood who’s filling in for John Gormley this weekend, the latest reports from the railways are disappointing for producers.
“In the last reporting week — week 28 — less than half of the hopper cars that were ordered were actually filled,” Fransoo said. “CP had some pretty bad numbers, but CN were downright awful. They only supplied 34 per cent of the cars that were ordered.”
Fransoo said the low amounts of cars has been a trend that started a few months ago. Adding it just keeps getting worse and worse.
He said the rail companies give the same excuse year after year to farmers for fewer cars.
“(It’s the) weather,” he said. “I understand that it does play a part in train length and safety and what not but my rebuttal to them is, ‘Why is CN doing so poorly compared to CP when they’re facing the same conditions?'”
He said the changes in weather patterns for Saskatchewan isn’t anything new and it surprised him they haven’t figured out a better solution.
“Farmers are losing money because of it.”
Fransoo worries because of the shortage on the tracks, it could be another year 2013. That’s when producers were dealing with a bumper crop and a bottleneck on the rail lines. In the end, Fransoo said it cost farmers billions of dollars.
As for calls to action, he said bill C-49 is before the senate right now. Fransoo said the bill could help get commodities moving on the railways much faster.
“Although the bill isn’t perfect, farmers are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day right now,” he said. “We need something passed that will force rail companies to improve their service levels.”
–With files from 980 CJME’s Jessika Guse