Wheat group supported

A proposed Alberta Wheat Commission appears to be taking root.

A proposed Alberta Wheat Commission appears to be taking root.

A group of wheat producers have been drumming up support for the new organization, with a goal of gaining government approval for the body and having it in place by Aug. 1, 2012. Thereafter, a refundable check-off from Alberta wheat producers would be collected and used for research, product development and other industry initiatives.

“To date, producer support for forming the proposed Alberta Wheat Commission is at more than 80 per cent,” said Kent Erickson, a Wainwright-area farmer and co-chair of the steering committee to form the commission.

If created, the commission is expected to collect annual revenue of $3.5 million — based on a check-off of 70 cents a tonne. With funds from organizations like the Western Grains Research Foundation and the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund, up to $12 million of wheat-specific research could result, said the committee in a release.

The Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission and the Alberta Soft Wheat Producers Commission both support the creation a broader commission.

Wheat producers are encouraged to comment on the proposed Alberta Wheat Commission by completing an online survey at www.albertawheat.com.

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