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Grain Farmers Forgotten by the Agriculture Minister’s Proposal to the FPT

Guelph, ON and LONGUEUIL, QC and MONCTON, NB – Atlantic Grain Council, Grain Farmers of Quebec (Producteurs de grains du Québec), and Grain Farmers of Ontario fear for the future after the federal government’s proposal to the Federal Provincial Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers completely neglects to include funding for grain farmers in eastern Canada.
 
Facing an uncertain future filled with lower demands in the feed and renewable fuels markets as the world enters the next COVID shutdown, sees ongoing subsidies to US Farmers, and continues to suffer from China-US trade disputes, grain farmers in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Ontario will not be able to count on support from the AgriStability program. 
 
Minister of Agriculture Agri-Food Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau, released details of a proposal that the federal government has put forward to provincial agriculture ministers across Canada that does not include the proper funding required to provide coverage for grain farmers.  Over the last couple of years, grain farmers have urged governments to reinstate AgriStability coverage to help with losses of hundreds of million dollars from the COVID shutdown in 2020, and blocked markets in China. News of no programming for grain farmers is alarming.
 
“Grain farmers have been let down by the government. A properly funded AgriStability program would have helped farmers facing unprecedented uncertainty and unfair competition with the grain farmers in the United States. Our farmer-members have sustained losses over the last couple of years from trade wars with China and the diminished grain market demand created by COVID shutdowns,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario
 
“The farmers in the United States have been shielded from the effects of the losses sustained by farmers from COVID shutdowns and trade wars with China with billions of dollars, it is unbelievable that Canada’s government cannot fix the AgriStability program,” said Christian Overbeek, Chairman of the Quebec Grain Farmers
 
“We are very disappointed that there are no provisions for grain farmers without increasing the 85 percent trigger, this creates an uneven playing field for our farmers and does nothing to provide the security required by grain farmers facing unprecedented uncertainty in the markets,” said Atlantic Grains Council Chair Roy Culberson
 
Grain Farmers in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada along with farm groups from across the country have been asking the FPT Ministers to return the AgriStability program to 2013 levels by increasing the trigger to 85 percent and removing the reference margin limit. 
 
The proposal being contemplated by the FPT right now only considers increasing the compensation rate not the trigger. This falls short of what is required for a grain farmer who sustains price losses consistently, and the only change that will address that is an 85 percent trigger.  Grain farmers are facing competition from farmers in the U.S. who have received over $36 billion compensation from their government in the last year alone, and tens of billions of support payments in the years prior.
Source : GFO