Important changes to the check-off

End of WCD will save wheat farmers 9-cents per tonne starting August 1

Alberta farmers currently have two wheat check-offs on their cash ticket – the Alberta Wheat Commission check-off of 70-cents per tonne and the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) check-off of 48-cents per tonne. 

Effective August 1 2017, AWC is moving to a single wheat check-off of $1.09, consolidating all current AWC programs with WCD obligations in a model directly accountable to Alberta farmers. This is a 9-cent per tonne reduction from the $1.18 per tonne farmers are currently paying through the combined AWC and WCD check-offs. 

AWC will assume all of the funding obligations of the WCD, including core funding for the development of new wheat varieties. AWC is committed to ensuring continuity in Canada’s public wheat breeding programs.Most of the top wheat varieties grown in Alberta today, including CDC Go, AC Stettler and AC Foremost were developed with the support of producer check-off dollars administered by WGRF. 

AWC will also continue to provide funding for the market support, education and testing services provided by the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) in Winnipeg.

Why a reduction? Board and management looked at a variety of options and based on projections an additional $3 million to $3.7 million per year would be required to meet future commitments to variety development and Cigi. At $1.09, AWC will collect an estimated $3 million in additional revenue each year, meeting this financial goal.

The motion to move to a single check-off of $1.09 per tonne was passed at AWC’s AGM in February 2017 and has received approval from the provincial government.

Our western Canadian counterparts, the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, are also well positioned to continue their work to support growers’ bottom lines and will also transition to a single check-off.