Groups representing grain farmers uniting for common cause

The Grain Farmers of Ontario and two other groups are beyond hitting the panic button.

The GFO, Atlantic Grains Council and Producteurs de grains du Québec say their members are going to go out of business because they can’t compete with U.S. farmers.

The groups say over $32 billion in direct subsidies have been provided to U.S. farmers.

And while farmers from across Canada have been asking the federal government to step in to provide more funding to the “AgriStability Business Risk Management Program” that hasn’t happened.

“Grain and oilseed farmers are united, and we want the public to better understand that while President Trump is protecting his farmers, Canada may lose many of its farms because we can’t compete. Down the road, Canada loses its ability to grow its own food, and that’s a dangerous situation for all Canadians,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

A new campaign is being run on radio and on digital platforms across Ontario Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and Quebec to try to heighten awareness of the severity of the issue.

The AgriStability Program only triggers a payment when it is needed and gives farmers the security they need to run their farm businesses when faced with political situations outside of their control.

“The continued market uncertainty caused by trade disputes and COVID-19 have created depressed commodity prices that are doubly hard for farmers as costs of crop production tools and other inputs are increasing, and there is no relief in sight. We need government support, today,” said Roy Culberson, Chairman, Atlantic Grains Council.

And GFO officials stress farmers need to be able to cover the cost of production or many of them will not be able to survive much longer.