Canola Farmers Disappointed with Outcome from FPT Ag Ministers' Meeting
Canola farmers across Canada are disappointed and concerned that during yesterday's federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers' meeting, Canada's Agriculture Ministers decided that more study is what's needed to improve business risk management programs, rather than implementing well-known, tangible steps that will adequately support canola farmers.
"In 2019 we faced a major market closure, the most unpredictable growing season and harvest in memory, and a rail shipping disruption," says Bernie McClean, President of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). "Every one of these uncontrollable risks is taking a toll on farm profitability and we are gravely concerned that programs like AgriStability won't be there to help famers."
For nearly three years, the AgGrowth Coalition has been asking the FPT Ministers to implement the following action items:
- AgriStability coverage immediately adjusted to cover losses starting at 85 percent of historical reference margins with no Reference Margin Limits;
- Prioritize discussions on production insurance for livestock and horticulture crops which are not currently covered under AgriInsurance;
- Discussions on BRM programming options to be meaningful and focused on program effectiveness rather than funding levels; and
- The establishment of an industry-government technical working group that allows farm groups to actively participate in BRM data and impact analysis.
"It's frustrating to see little movement on these recommendations," says Rick White, Chief Executive Officer at CCGA. CCGA has addressed these concerns through the AgGrowth Coalition, as well as through the Canola Working Group.
"We have studied AgriStability extensively, including the impact of coverage levels, and we know coverage levels are nowhere near adequate," says White.
"Farmers can't wait until next year or the year after for this to be fixed," says McClean. "We call on the Ministers of Agriculture to listen to farmers and take action on these recommendations."
CCGA represents canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability and is a member of the AgGrowth Coalition.
Kelly Green, Director of Communications