The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb says they did lots of advocacy work for the Province’s 296 RM’s.
He says they met with Federal Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau and relayed their concerns about China’s ban on Canola Seed exports from two of Canada’s largest exporters.
“So we need the Federal Government to step up to the plate and do a better job. You know as far as the Chinese shipments of Canola to China and, you know, to some extent, canola shipments have resumed. We have heard you know there are shipments moving, not directly to China, but we're still fortunate that we're crushing and the amount of oil, you know, canola oil that we are in this province. So, that's kept moving all along."
He notes the other key issue for the ag sector was production, the year started off dry then the rains came in mid-June.
The rain brought on second and third growth in some areas which delayed harvest; that harvest was then disrupted with more rain and snow resulting in a significant portion of the crop left unharvested.
Orb says with this year’s wet harvest, grain dryers are working overtime which is pushing up the carbon tax on propane and natural gas bills for farmers.
Orb says they’ve sent letters of concern Federally and Provincially on their agriculture concerns:
“So, we sent letters to the Federal Ag Minister and even to the Prime Minister saying this simply isn’t fair that farmers have to pay another tax on top of the extra exorbitant costs that they face this year. We haven't gotten, basically much headway on that. We sent letters to every Provincial Ag Minister relaying that concern, not only about the carbon tax but about some of the farm safety net programs, just simply not being effective enough.”
Despite the production challenges in 2019, Saskatchewan farmers will likely harvest the second-largest crop on record.
Agriculture Minister David Marit says they estimate production at well over 37 million metric tonnes – and while the quality of the crop may be down the bushels are there to move.
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