First ship of 2010 arrives at port of Churchill in Manitoba

Vessel to Take Canadian Wheat To European Market:  Struthers
Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers will visit Manitoba’s seaport at Churchill today to welcome the first ship of the year as it arrives to take on a load of Canadian wheat destined for European markets.
"The arrival of the first ship is an exciting time and an important marketing link for the grain produced in Manitoba and across the prairies," said Struthers.  "As our agricultural products make their way around the world, they raise awareness of the quality food produced here and the significant contribution Manitoba farmers make to the international trade sector of our economy.  Manitoba farmers have created business opportunities with their products for their families, food processors and value-added agri-businesses.  With their outstanding products, Manitoba farmers are making a world of difference around the globe."
The MV Federal Danube is the first ship scheduled to arrive.  It will load approximately 33,000 tonnes of durum bound for Europe.
In 2009, 529,000 tonnes of wheat was shipped through the Port of Churchill with 424,000 tonnes in 2008 and 620,000 tonnes in 2007, a 30-year high.
The minister noted the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is the largest customer of the Port of Churchill.  In 2008, the CWB began the Churchill Storage Program which pays farmers in the port’s catchment area to retain grain on-farm for movement through the northern port during the short Churchill shipping season (generally from July to November).  The program ensures that grain remains in farm bins over the winter for shipment through Churchill in summer.  Participating farmers receive $2.50 per tonne plus a monthly storage payment of $1 per tonne.
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