By Jonathan Martin
Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) has publicly called on the federal government to address pressures felt by grain farmers.
The farm group’s appeal came Tuesday morning, after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his government would offer $15 billion in aid to U.S. farmers targeted by Chinese tariffs Monday. It marked the second round of funding, after last August’s $12 billion in compensation for American farmers losing sales and for low prices stemming from trade disputes with China and other countries.
The effect of the escalating US-China trade war is being felt by farmers across Canada.
Canadian canola imports have been suspended over unproven phytosanitary concerns, soybean prices are dropping and exports to China have slowed to a trickle.
“The time has come for the Canadian Government to aggressively defend the interests of Canada’s agriculture sector in China and around the world,” said Jeff Nielsen, GGC chairman, in a Tuesday press release. “This is a non-partisan issue and Canadian farmers need government support to ensure that we are well-positioned to weather this storm.”
The GGC’s call for government action includes the immediate implementation of “meaningful changes” to the AgriStability program. The group specifically calls for coverage of margin losses below 85 per cent and the removal of the reference margin limit. It also says the feds should increase the interest-free portion of the Advanced Payment Plan (APP) from $100,000 to $500,000 for all commodities.
As part of its response to the canola trade dispute, the government has extended the registration deadline for AgriStability enrolment by two months and announced that canola farmers can receive up to $500,000 from the APP.
Farms.com has contacted the government, asking for a response. This story will be updated if a reply is received.