Recently, Grain Farmers of Ontario launched an awareness campaign to shine a light on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on grain farming and to highlight the need for government to put into place the proper assurance programs as soon as possible.
We know many people have questions and we have captured some below:
- What is the campaign?
- Grain Farmers of Ontario has been requesting that the provincial and federal governments better fund and modernize assurance programs to help Ontario grain farmers protect their businesses and secure Ontario’s food supply for the future. These advertisements are part of these efforts to raise awareness of the growing need our farmer-members are facing, especially now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Why is Grain Farmers of Ontario running this campaign?
- Grain Farmers of Ontario is running this campaign in an effort to bring greater attention to the outdated assurance programs that governments offer, and that farmers pay into, as well as to the struggles grain farmers have dealt with throughout the last few years and during COVID-19.
The programs that farmers rely on to gain credit and that help them overcome the risk of planting crops without guaranteed sales or prices were created decades ago and do not reflect today’s economy or realities. At today’s prices, grain farmers in Ontario will sell corn at a loss in the fall, which leads to uncertainty in the viability of these family farms.
- How long will the campaign run?
- There is no time limit on the campaign at this time.
- Where will the ad play?
- The ad will be seen online and on television, as well as heard on radio
- What is Grain Farmers of Ontario asking for?
- Grain Farmer of Ontario is asking the federal government to restore the farmer-contributed program AgriStability to 85 per cent with no reference margin limits, and to increase the AgriInvest to five per cent of net sales. We have asked the provincial government to fully fund the RMP program.
- Where can I get more information about the importance of grain farming in Ontario?
- Are grain farmers really struggling?
- A recent survey of Ontario grain farmers found
- 61 per cent are concerned about their business’s ability to survive this downturn
- 86 per cent expect their net income to be reduced in 2020
- Over half of grain farmers are already seeing a reduction in sales and another 24 per cent are experiencing cancellation or delays of existing contracts
- One third are experiencing cashflow and another third expect cash flow issues in the near future
- 55 per cent fear that they will have an inability to cover the cost of production
- A recent survey of Ontario grain farmers found that: