Weyburn Inland Terminal (WIT) is the first inland grain terminal in Canada to be completely owned and operated by farmers. The $5.5 million grain-handling facility, located on Highway 39 about 3.5 km southeast of Weyburn, opened November 2, 1976, with a 540,000 tonne annual throughput capacity for wheat, barley and other grains.
The terminal was built after 1,300 southern Saskatchewan farmers, who wanted to add more responsiveness and fairness to Canada’s grain-handling system, raised the $1.6 million needed to begin construction. The terminal was built despite opposition from the provincial government, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, National Farmers Union and various churches. Many of the concerns were that the terminal would contribute further to the decline in small towns and the depopulation of rural Saskatchewan as well as increase the traffic of grain trucks on Saskatchewan highways.
The early years were difficult and, due to inexperience and an unchanging grain-handling industry, the company lost money. An ingenious refinancing scheme saved WIT in 1980 and the company has had steady profits since 1990. The company is now one of the most profitable grain-handling facilities in Canada with the latest expansion in 2001 bringing WIT’s total capacity to 112,000 tonnes, four times its original size. The company offers cleaning and drying of grain, storage grain condominium facilities, a pelleting plant, fertilizer and chemicals sales. WIT can dry sixty tonnes of grain per hour and clean 200 tonnes of wheat per hour. About 600 tonnes can be shipped per hour. WIT also owns Vigro Seed and Supply in Sedley, a specialty seed cleaning business, and the grain elevator at Lake Alma, Saskatchewan.
Weyburn Inland Terminal Ltd. has amassed an impressive list of fourteen “firsts” since its creation, including being the first in Canada to do protein testing, cleaning and drying of grain on the prairies, as well as the first in Canada to build grain condominium storage units. WIT was the first to pay farmers for the refuse in their grain and the first to win the Canadian Wheat Board “Quality First” award for excellence in handling shipments to American mills.