Alberta farmers encouraged to hit the open road with grain

The Alberta Government is reducing road restrictions so farmers can get their grain from storage to elevators.

This spring, farmers across the Wildrose province will be able to obtain free permits to haul grain to elevators on provincial highways when road bans are in effect.

In a statement, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Verlyn Olson says this is one way they can help farmers get their grain to market.

“Agriculture is Alberta’s largest renewable industry and part of the foundation of our rural economy. I am very pleased producers, municipalities and our government are working together with other links in the supply chain to ensure that grain will keep moving to market this spring.”

The permits, which will be free, allow grain trucks to travel at 100 per cent axle weight on banned roads, as long as these roads are not damaged in the process.

The move comes after a record harvest last fall where western Canada produced an estimated 75.9 million metric tonnes of major grain crops, nearly 40 per cent more than the five-year average.

The permits will be available starting on Tuesday, April 1st and will be available until June 30th.

The province has laid out four different ways that farmers can apply for the permits:

  • Get a permit request form by contacting Alberta Transportation’s Central Permit Office toll free at 1-800-662-7138 from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays.
  • Complete the form by providing information on the trip’s origin, destination, route, trucks covered, weights requested, number of loads required and contact information.
  • Get the road ban exemption if the route can withstand your proposed traffic without significant damage according to engineers and regional maintenance staff.
  • Contact the local municipality directly for a permit to haul grain on municipal roads.