The guide is available for free from the Canadian Canola Growers Association
By Diego Flammini
A Canadian ag organization has made a resource available to canola farmers for free to help growers navigate grain contracts.
The Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) studied contracts from multiple canola purchasers to provide growers with a summary of clauses found in most contracts.
“Knowing what’s in your grain contract is just as important as knowing what’s not in your grain contract,” the first page of A Practical Guide to Navigating Grain Contracts says.
Grain contracts are an area where farmers may need more support.
A 2013 study from the University of Manitoba, for example, found that 47 per cent of surveyed producers only read a portion of their grain contracts and only 17 per cent read the whole document.
And one of the first tips in the CCGA’s resource is to read and understand the whole contract.
“Language indicating that the seller has read and understands the terms and conditions effectively places responsibility on the farmer and strengthens the grain company’s legal position should a dispute arise,” page five of the 28-page document says.
Another reason it’s important for farmers to read entire grain contracts is land access.
Some clauses in contracts allow grain companies access to a farmer’s land.
“Some contracts grant the buyer the right to access the farmer’s land for certain purposes,” the guide states. “The reason is stated in the contract and, while it differs by company, is largely for sampling and testing purposes.”
Other topics covered in the guide include the process to cancel a contract, delivery terms, Acts of God, and transfers of ownership.
Farmers can download a copy of the guide for free or call 1-866-745-2256 to request a paper copy in the mail.