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Manitoba farmer urges others to step up security after $40K canola theft

Click to play video: 'Manitoba farmer urges others to step up security after $40K canola theft' Manitoba farmer urges others to step up security after $40K canola theft
A western Manitoba producer says he had 1,600 bushels of canola stolen — valued at up to $40,000. – Mar 21, 2022

Manitoba farmers are already struggling with price increases on necessities like fuel and fertilizer, and now they may have to look out for grain theft as well.

A western Manitoba producer told 680 CJOB’s The Start he’s out 1,600 bushels of canola — valued at up to $40,000.

Les Wedderburn, who farms northwest of Brandon, said he noticed a pick-up truck going in and out of his yard one day, and a month later, when he went to price the grain, one of his bins was half-empty.

He’s now warning other farmers to take precautions to avoid the same fate.

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“We’re looking at putting in a full camera system that alerts to our phone. If someone’s in our yard, we can be alerted and go to the yard,” Wedderburn said.

“One of the things that the grain producers need to be looking at more, and we haven’t been, is something called ‘Cropgard.’ It’s like a confetti you can put in your grain and it’s got a number on it that’s registered to you.”

Read more: Manitoba government eyes new rules to curb rural crime, tighten farm security

This kind of theft is a punch to the gut for farmers, he said, as on top of everything else, they’re also being affected by the CP Rail work stoppage.

“Right now, with the drought in the cattle industry — the way it’s been affected by the drought of last year — there’s a lot of feed grain being shipped into western Canada through the railway,” he said.

“That’s going to be devastating for a lot of those guys as well. They’re having a lot of trouble getting that product now.”

Wedderburn said he has yet to hear back from the local police or RCMP.

“Fuel’s easy to steal, liquid fertilizer is easy to steal, grain is easy to steal,” he said.

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“I don’t think people realize how vulnerable they are. We didn’t realize how vulnerable we were.”

Global News has reached out to Manitoba RCMP for more information.

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