WHEREAS presently most Seed Cleaning Plants are in need of improvements to meet the current needs of today’s grain producers;AND WHEREAS when producers received a reasonable price for their grain, relative to their expenses, Seed Cleaning Plants charged fees that adequately covered operational and maintenance expenses; AND WHEREAS over the past several years the narrowing of profit margins for producers, and Seed Cleaning Plants holding their fees low to retain a slim profit margin for the producer, it has created a situation where most Plants are near obsolete with an inability to ever afford to modernize;AND WHEREAS most local municipalities have identified this dilemma for the Plants and have provided just enough funding to keep the Plants surviving, but not to fully modernize;AND WHEREAS the prolonged lack of financial support at the Provincial and Federal government level is leading to a gradual demise of existing Seed Cleaning Plants;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial and federal governments provide financial assistance to Seed Cleaning Plants cooperatives to modernize their facilities to meet the current local needs of grain producers.
In the establishment years of Alberta Seed Cleaning Plants the provincial government offered cost shared grants to municipalities to either establish new Seed Cleaning Plants, or cover upgrades to existing ones. All forms of provincial government financial support to seed cleaning plants ended by 1996. During this period this initiative proved very beneficial to both the agricultural producers, municipalities and the Province. For the agricultural producers it foremost saved them the expense and time of traveling extensive distances for seed cleaning services. For the municipalities and the province, it reduced amount the heavy vehicle traffic stress on road infrastructure. In recent years the following trends have emerged:1) The trucks utilized for hauling grains have increased in size to the point where many of the older Seed Cleaning Plants cannot readily accommodate these larger vehicles.2) The producer’s costs for hauling grains for seed cleaning has increased, both due increased fuel costs, and for increased hauling distances to facilities able to handle these larger truck sizes.3) Many municipalities have been providing small intermittent grants to financially assist their local seed cleaning plants for upgrades necessary to keep them viable. 4) Several of the older Seed Cleaning Plants have not been able to afford upgrades, and have since closed, or are or in jeopardy of closing. 5) The number of primary producers has declined with a corresponding decline in membership in the Seed Cleaning Plant cooperatives. This has lead to elevated cleaning rate charges to the remaining grain producers to offset costs. 6) Seed Cleaning Plants improvements have not been able to access various rural stabilization initiatives and grants due to unfamiliarity of the non-rural government officials with Seed Cleaning Plants. 7) Seed Cleaning Plant managers have developed into valuable local resource persons on seed, yield and pest information for producers.
The AAMDC currently has no resolutions in effect with respect to this issue.However, resolution 2-05S calls for mandatory fusarium testing at seed cleaning plants. The government’s response indicated that it is aware of this and additional concerns regarding seed cleaning plants.