The report commissioned by SaskCrops and APAS also shows that only 46 per cent of Prairie grain farmers feel that they are being treated fairly by contracts.

APAS President Ian Boxall says the groups commissioned Mercantile Consulting  Venture Inc to write the report in order to quantify and substantiate the concerns they were hearing from their members.

He notes the issue around transparency around the grain purchase contract terms and conditions became a real concern last year when producers we're faced with buying out their contracts, because they didn't have enough grain to sell due to the impact of the drought.

"We've heard concerns of producers paying anywhere from hundreds of 1000s, to millions of dollars in contract buyouts, then they go down the road to the next grain buyer and there isn't any. So I think the frustration is around the uncertainty and the differential from buyer to buyer."
Boxall says we need to see more clarity and balance between farmers and grain buyers within the contracts.

"The buyer can present a producer with a contract that is  laid out there in black and white, there's no gray, or no going back after with concerns or issues. You know, I think standardizing some of those terms and conditions, and getting clarity around them, so that it's the same no matter where you sell your grain would be a benefit to everybody."

The report suggests, quite strongly, that improving grain contracts for Saskatchewan grain farmers will benefit not only farmers, but also grain companies and the entire industry.

Boxall says they aren’t looking to reallocate production risk from farmers to grain companies, but instead clearly define contract terms and conditions so everyone understands their responsibilities if they are unable to fulfill the contract.

The Mercantile report outlines several possible solutions to improve clarity and balance between farmers and grain buyers within the contracts.

According to Boxall now that they have the report the next step is to open discussions with all interested stakeholders and government bodies on the issue.

The full report is available here.