Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers, is disappointed that the Canadian government’s trade compensation package did not include support for grain farmers. Additionally, the government’s divisive decision to only support a select area of the agriculture industry could create an unneeded divide in the industry.
The impact of trade disputes on grain farmers was forgotten in the federal announcement of $1.75 billion dollars for 11,000 Canadian dairy farmers, who have yet to experience the trade impacts on their sector. Support is also required immediately for grain farmers facing uncertainty in the markets from trade disputes and stifled markets from Canada’s strained relationship with China.
“The federal government is neglecting grain farmers who are impacted by the volatile trade environment that has been created by political decisions outside of farmers control,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “The China/U.S. Trade war and Canada’s strained relationship with China are having an impact on our farmer members ability to market their crop. We should have been included in the trade compensation package announced late last week.”
Grain farmers have been impacted and will continue to be impacted until there is resolution to the geopolitical issues impacting global trade and market uncertainty. For over a year there have been several incidents escalating the situation starting with the U.S./China Trade War and the subsequent compensation package of $36 billion to U.S. farmers by their government.
The situation was exacerbated by the strained relationship between China and Canada stemming from the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive, which resulted in a slowing of Canadian soybean purchases by Chinese buyers. The government of China issued a stern warning to Canada to stay out of domestic issues in China as recent as this weekend, leaving little hope that a resolution to the relationship with China will improve in-time for harvest.
Grain Farmers of Ontario has been a vocal advocate of the need for better business risk management (BRM) programs for Ontario grain farmers and for a trade war fund that will help see farmers through economic hurt caused by trade disputes with no action from the federal government.
Grain Farmers of Ontario