Capital Press

Pacific Northwest wheat officials don't predict any impact on the U.S. market once the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly ends this summer.

The Canadian government will eliminate the marketing monopoly, giving farmers the option of selling on the open market or through the board.

Beginning in August, the wheat board will offer a full portfolio of grain-marketing programs, including pooling options, futures contracts and cash prices.

In the first few months, Canadian wheat may enter the U.S. as farmers test their new options, Washington Grain Commission CEO Tom Mick said.

"I don't see a big influx coming in to inland terminals," he said. "We'll have to monitor whether any Canadian grain comes down to the Portland area for export, but talking to exporters, they're not expecting much."

Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson also doesn't expect an impact from the change in the Canadian wheat industry. Idaho wheat doesn't directly compete with Canadian wheat.

With the new open border, he expects more Canadian wheat will enter the U.S. but the domestic millers that buy Canadian wheat don't compete directly with the millers that buy Idaho wheat.

"In a roundabout way, you could say if more Canadian wheat stays domestic, they will compete less with the Idaho wheat that is exported," Jacobson said. "I don't see any negative impact on Idaho."

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