Keystone Agricultural Producers recognizes the federal government – and in particular Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr – for their announcement today of assistance for canola producers.
Canadian canola – a crop that contributes $26.7 billion to the Canadian economy and $1.72 billion to the Manitoba economy – has been shut out of China, our biggest market, since the end of March.
The government has announced that loan limits for farmers under the Advanced Payments Program will increase from $400,000 to $1 million for all commodities, but canola growers will also see the interest-free portion change from $100,000 to $500,000.
“This will help with the uncertainty and the stress the canola industry is going through, as farmers worry about what to plant and how they will deal with the falling price of canola,” said KAP president Bill Campbell. “There has already been a $1.30 per-bushel loss on the crop, and that means a $160 million loss to Manitoba farmers which will drastically affect our provincial economy.”
Campbell said that many farmers still have the 2018 crop in their bins, and now with the rock-bottom prices some stand to lose $50,000 or more. If the dispute is not solved before the 2019 harvest, the same fate awaits this year’s crop.
The government also announced an extension until July 2 for enrollment in the AgriStability program.
Recognizing that these are solutions that will get farmers through in the short term, Campbell said a long-term solution is needed, and welcomed the announcement that Jim Carr will be undertaking a trade mission to find new markets for Canada’s canola.
“We’re glad to see the effort going into market diversification,” he said. “That’s the reason Canada entered into the new trade agreements – but they don’t do farmers much good if they’re not adhered to. We want the federal government to stand up for farmers.”
For more information
Val Ominski – communications – 204-697-1140
Bill Campbell – president – 204-724-6218