Mar. 24, 2014 - Manitoba is making a special one-time amendment to spring weight restriction policy on provincial roads to enable farmers to get their grain to market.
According to Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba's grain elevators are operating at 116 per cent of working capacity, up from 112 per cent a week ago, and on-farm storage at Manitoba farms is overwhelmed. Given the large crop, some farmers have had to store their grain in inappropriate, temporary storage. As spring approaches and the weather warms up, improperly stored grain is at risk of degradation and spoilage.
This season's policy change to Spring Road Restrictions means that all grain will be considered an essential commodity this spring and may be transported at restricted Level 1 weights (90 per cent of normal axle loading) on all Level 2 highways without a permit, as long as all posted weight restrictions on bridges are complied with.
Other steps the task force has made to address immediate concerns include launching a review of flood-prone areas to help farmers move at-risk grain and establishing a grain bin listing service that will assist producers in obtaining alternate storage locations for at-risk grain.