The Western Canadian Wheat Growers had farmers from both sides of the border at their lunch at Agri-Trade in Red Deer last week.

The event featured a panel discussion with representatives from the U.S. Wheat Associates, National Association of Wheat Growers, Limagrain, and the Western Canadian Wheat Growers (WCWG).

Chair of the WCWG, Jim Wickett, says one of the highlights of the panel discussion was wheat variety registration in the United States versus Canada.

Wickett says it takes three years of Canadian data to get a variety registered here.

"The 49th parallel is just kind of an invisible line, but yet they won't allow the data from across the line to be used in Canadian trials, which is kind of sad and it really holds things up for Canadian farmers."

He says, other topics discussed on the panel included grain transportation and wheat grading.

As a wheat farmer, Wickett says, he'd like to see the Canadian grading system modernized.

"The last time the (Canada) Grain Act was opened was 1971. That's nearly 50 years ago. It's time for that thing to be not just overhaulled, but really be thrown out almost, and lets start again. Let's get a Canadian made plan, but we need to recognize the specs that millers and bakers want and be paid for those specs."

Wickett says the lunch and panel discussion was important to show members some of the issues they're working on.


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