WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Aug. 1 marks the one-year anniversary of the return to an open market in the trade of Western Canadian wheat and barley, and grain industry leaders on both sides of the border say the transition has been relatively seamless. 

After the open market took effect in Canada on Aug. 1, 2012, the cross-border system for wheat, durum, and barley began working the same as it already does for other commodities, such as canola and pulses. 

“The Canadian industry welcomes the one year anniversary of an open market for wheat and barley,” said William Hill, interim manager of the Canada Grains Council. “Many positive changes have taken place including new entrants to the Canadian marketplace, the formation of new producer commissions, and improved trade linkages.” 

Canadian and U.S. organizations formed the Canada-U.S. Task Group and have been working together over the past year to communicate information about trading commodities across the border. 

As part of this effort, the task group launched a website,, to provide answers to questions about cross-border trade for wheat, durum and barley producers in Canada and the United States. In its first year, about 4,500 visitors explored information targeted toward Canadian producers, U.S. producers and the commercial grain and seed trade. Visitors can also submit comments and additional questions through the website. 

“In just one year, the evidence is clear: Working jointly with governments and industry to communicate change and address issues that impact the flow of trade in agricultural products is a key element to the promotion of economic growth, job creation, and bringing benefit to U.S. and Canadian consumers, farmers and agri-business,” said Gary C. Martin, president and chief executive officer of the North American Export Grain Association. “We look forward to additional Task Group work, including an upcoming study of U.S. to Canada commodity flows and use.” Martin said the commodity flow study has already supported development of revised Canadian phytosanitary risk management requirements.” 

After the study is published, the group will complete a new website module providing specific information regarding commercial trade of grains and oilseeds. In addition, Task Group participants have identified other opportunities to facilitate trade through improved policies and expanded collaborative efforts.