Trucking farmers crushed by recent elevator closures

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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – While Alberta farmers are using tax loopholes to run successful trucking side businesses, farmers in Manitoba are struggling to get their own crops to market.

According to reports in The Daily Graphic, Glenn Ronald bought himself a new semi-trailer to haul his grain – but the Portage la Prairie-area farmer isn’t particularly happy he had to.

“When you have to haul further now, you either buy a truck or hire somebody else to do it,” he tells local media. “I had to buy my own truck because you can’t even hire a truck anymore. Those costs start to add up.”

Last July, Agricore-United mothballed grain elevators in Austin, MacGregor, Elm Creek and Katrime while the Oakville facility was closed in December and the Burnside elevator west of Portage shut down in February.

“I know some guys that since the closures have had to haul their grain north of Winnipeg. Without a doubt, the closures have added a lot of cost,” says Ronald.

Fred Tait, vice-president of the National Farmer’s Union, believes farmers will band together and consider forming their own producer-car loading facilities along rail lines.

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