A study to determine the optimum number of grain delivery points in Saskatchewan with particular emphasis on the consequences for grain producers
Martin, Francis Larry
The Canadian Prairie grain collection system requires modernization. Centralization rather than replacement is being proposed as the answer to the demand for efficiency. The concern that motivated the study was for grain producers whose stake in the system has not been fully incorporated in analysis to date. Will centralization prove more efficient when the grain producer's stake is fully considered? The system of grain collection defined in the study consists of 1) farm storage, 2) trucking, 3) roads, 4) country elevators and 5) railways. A cost minimization approach was adopted to analyze the problem which is incomplete but manageable and important. A transportation - location model was used in the analysis. The model is rooted in a technique developed by Stollsteimer (1963) and incorporates a modification by Warrack and Fletcher (1970) to provide a sub-optimal solution for large problems. Modifications and additions were made to the Stollsteimer model in order to incorporate characteristics of the present system and also to deal with a range of decision variables (policy). A computer program was constructed to aid in analysis of ten separate cases for an area of Saskatchewan. The ten cases represent a range of "what if" situations. The results indicated that the savings from centralization in the study area are modest. The efficient number of grain delivery points varies widely and depends on a number of decisions not yet taken and a number of questions not yet confronted.