Portland grain exporters have announced huge penalties on farmers and country elevators who deliver dirty grain to market, saying Japan, Korea and other foreign buyers are demanding clean wheat from the United States.
The seven exporters in Portland said the move was necessary to maintain market share with customers who can buy cleaned wheat from Australia and Canada at no extra charge.
But the Washington Association of Wheat Growers in Ritzville, Wash., called the new fees “severe and excessive.”
WAWG said exporters plan to charge 1 cent to 85 cents a bushel this harvest for dirty wheat. The penalties, known in the industry as dockage, last year ranged from 1 cent to 9 cents per bushel. Fees often vary depending on the exporter and the demand for cleaner grain.
The announcement comes at a time when wheat farmers were hoping to cash in on high prices.