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2016 Fields on Wheels – Grain Complexity: Grow it, Move it, Trade it!
Fri, 21 October 2016, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM CDT
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The complexity of the Western Canadian grain supply chain is difficult to comprehend. On the surface it seems simple: grow it, move it and trade it. The reality is different. A dozen different crops, with multiple grades, are produced on 96,000 farms with 130 million acres. Their output is consolidated at 332 primary grain elevators by four major grain handlers and many smaller ones. The grain is shipped east and west for thousands of kilometers by two Class 1 railways to terminals and container stuffers located at three major ports. From the ports, the grain is shipped to buyers around the world in bulk ships and containers. Despite such complexity, the system operates efficiently.
A complex system is not without its challenges: changes to the system and to individual components of the system must be understood, anticipated and adapted to, for it to be viable. Technology is forcing changes to the system at the farm and throughout the transportation network. Adoption of new technologies can permanently increase the supply of grain and put more stress on the current system. Rail and grain companies are making steady improvements in capacity to handle the occurrence of larger crops. These improvements may be tested if 2016 produces another bumper crop.
For 20 years the Fields on Wheels conferences have presented expert speakers, expanding the knowledge base and fostering discussion on developing trends and changes in the grain supply chain. The 21st conference carries on this tradition with the addition of a new partner, the University of Manitoba Department of Agribusiness & Agricultural Economics.
Among the topics to be addressed at the 21st Fields on Wheels conference:
- Outlook for World Grain Trade
- Trading Blocs and Trade Agreements
- Fluctuating Demand and System Capacity
- Coping with a potential Bumper Crop
The timing of the Fields on Wheels presents a bonus for hockey fans. Come to Winnipeg for the 21st Fields on Wheels on the 21st – Stay for the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field on the 23rd.
More Info available here.