WASHINGTON – The Canadian Wheat Board and Cargill said they have reached a grain handling services agreement that will give Canadian farmers who sell their grain through the C.W.B. access to Cargill’s 30 facilities across western Canada and port access at Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Baie Comeau.

“We are excited about this opportunity,” said Len Penner, Cargill Ltd. president. “It allows us to present the most complete offering of wheat marketing tools to western Canadian growers.”

Cargill said it would continue to contract wheat, durum and barley for its own account as well as C.W.B. grains. Programs are expected to be in place by the end of March, the C.W.B. said.

Under Canadian legislative action, the C.W.B. will lose its wheat and barley marketing monopoly in August and lacks the elevator and port facilities of traditional grain companies.

“We can now move ahead to provide farmers with an exciting package of programs they can use with confidence in this new era,” said Ian White, C.W.B. president and chief executive officer.

Although Cargill was the first, the C.W.B. said it was seeking such agreements with all Prairie grain handlers.