It’s going to be a busy year for the local port, a grain industry expert says.
Everything that could go right or wrong did last year as the largest grain crop in the country’s history is still making its way through the shipping system. The 75 million tonnes is now getting out of farmers’ bins, and sometimes even off the ground, out west and filling up elevators in Thunder Bay.
Quorum Corporation president, and grain monitor for the federal government, Mark Hemmes said once the ice and snow melts across the country, good things are on the way for the industry.
“I see this probably one of the best shipping seasons that we’ve ever seen,” he said. “We’ll move a lot of grain.”
But the ice and snow need to go. Hemmes was speaking at the Thunder Bay Port Authority’s annual lunch to launch the shipping season. But for the first time ever, the lunch had no season opening to celebrate. Port Authority CEO Tim Heney said elevators are starting to fill up with grain and he’s hopeful the season can begin next week.
“Things are improving we’ll our fingers crossed that we’ll see the first grain ships by Monday,” he said.
Hemmes isn’t expecting another record year but averages show that crop production is increasing.
“We’re working our way toward a new era in Canadian grain production,” he said.