Member representatives at yesterday’s Keystone Agricultural Producers advisory council meeting passed a resolution directing KAP to lobby the federal government to keep the regulation that allows for cash deferral of grain tickets (sales).
This comes after the government indicated in the recent federal budget that it is considering eliminating grain ticket deferrals – which are an important option because of the nature of farming.
“A farmer could have a good crop and good selling conditions one year, and be wiped out the next,” said KAP president Dan Mazier. “Crops could be hit by drought or disease, prices could fall, rail service could be poor, anything could happen – this option allows a farmer to prepare for a lean year, and file taxes accordingly.”
Another resolution called on KAP to urge the federal government to review CP’s rail performance. Farmers said that grain has not been moving west out of western Manitoba all winter and spring. Some compared it to the 2013-2014 grain transportation crisis when farmers lost millions because they couldn’t ship their grain due to poor railway performance.
Members also voted to push the federal government on its proposed trust to protect vegetable producers when buyers go out of business, something that would be similar to a trust in the U.S. for perishable commodities. When a Manitoba processing company entered receivership in March, there was a very significant amount of money left owing to Manitoba vegetable producers who had delivered produce to the company.
Several resolutions were also passed regarding carbon taxation and drainage. For a complete list of resolutions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also at the meeting, KAP members heard from Manitoba Agriculture’s director of policy, Mike Lesiuk, on the extensive preparations the department has undertaken in preparation for the next policy framework on agriculture – including producer consultations.
It is expected the funding for this new agreement, which covers business risk management, environmental protection, market development and research – in fact almost every aspect of agriculture – will be finalized at this summer’s meeting of the federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers.
In a cross-province update on seeding conditions, members reported that seeding is a week away in the best scenario, but a month away in the worst. Farmers from the southwest said it’s the wettest they’ve seen, with one member reporting that he could travel over fields for miles – in a boat. Another said there were 73 roads closed in his RM.
West-central farmers also reported very wet conditions, with snow still on the ground in some areas.