Farmers cannot wait any longer for action on canola exports to China

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Source: Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan

Crops going into the ground in Saskatchewan under cloud of uncertainty, weeks of silence from government

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says the growing season is here and farmers need to know what our governments are planning to do about the shutdown of Canadian canola exports to China.

“Spring seeding has begun in some parts of the province, and many other producers are getting close,” says Todd Lewis, APAS President. “Saskatchewan farmers need to know now whether the government intends to put any additional supports in place to help them manage the unprecedented risk in growing canola this year.”

APAS brought several proposals to a meeting with the federal agriculture and trade ministers a month ago in Saskatoon but have not heard anything since.

“Obviously, diplomatic conversations and negotiations need to be happening at the highest level in order to resolve this situation, but in the meantime, there are steps the government can take to strengthen the safety nets available to our farmers.”

APAS has suggested improvements to the Cash Advance Program as well as the following changes to the Federal-Provincial Agri-Stability program:

• Enhance Agri-Stability coverage to deal with export market issues,

• Waive enrollment fees for 2019 Agri-Stability applications,

• Extend the 2019 enrollment deadline beyond April 30, and waive late enrollment penalties,

• Be prepared to make Agri-Stability interim payments should trade issues seriously reduce farm income

• Make Saskatchewan Crop Insurance staff available to assist producers with their applications

“These programs are intended to help producers cope with situations of uncertainty and risk and provide emergency support to producers and rural families. It is time for the government to step up and commit to program changes that will provide meaningful financial support during this time of need. The time to act is now,” Lewis said.

Background: APAS is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization – formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan, producerrun organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of agricultural producers and ranchers in Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society. APAS is a member of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Learn more at APAS.ca.

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