Two grain thefts reported in southern Manitoba

Mikkel Pates
Forum News Service

KALEIDA, Manitoba — After two reported farm grain thefts, law enforcement in Manitoba is urging farmers to secure grain in remote sites and perhaps mark it with confetti for identification.

A Manitoba farmer reported that about 50 tons of canola was stolen in September from a farmstead about 30 miles north of Langdon, N.D.

The farmer near Kaleida on Sept. 21 reported the theft, which, at $500 per ton spot prices, was valued at about $25,000, in a story first reported in the Manitoba Cooperator.

Separately, a farmer near the unincorporated village Cypress River, Man., in the Rural Municipality of Lorne — an hour southeast of Brandon, Man. — had reported 700 bushels of grain missing on June 23. That farmer said the grain may have been stolen as early as the prior winter.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating both thefts and is urging farmers to mark grain with confetti —small pieces of paper with registered numbers unique to the farmers who own it. To report information on these thefts, call the Carman RCMP, 204-745-6760 or Morden RCMP 204-822-4476. RCMP public affairs officials weren’t immediately available to offer a status on the cases.

Valerie Schellenberg, general manager of Country Graphics and Printing Ltd., Rosenort, Man., told Agweek her company has been selling a grain identification product called CropGard since at least the 1990s both to farmers —mainly in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — and to companies with contracts with about 40 farmers a year.

“I have not heard of any current competition,” she said.

Several years ago the company also had clients in North Dakota, Montana and Iowa. A five-pound box of the product sells for $154.95 in Canadian dollars and treats about 50,000 bushels. For information, call 204-746-8231.

U.S. law enforcement officials weren’t immediately available to comment about recent grain thefts from farms and businesses. The last grain theft in the news in North Dakota was at Voltaire, N.D., in March 2009, when three adults and a youth stole $30,000 in grain from a commercial elevator in the middle of the night, using company equipment to divert it into their own trucks.

After a large theft of canola seed in Canada, authorities are warning farmers to take precautions against people stealing from their bins. Forum News Service file photo