October 11, 2018

Open letter to Minister Lawrence MacAulay re: Harvest 2018

Jeff Nielsen

Dear Minister MacAulay,

As you are no doubt aware, this fall is proving to be a challenging one for grain farmers across Canada. From coast to coast farmers continue to face adverse weather that is having a significant impact on their ability to make progress with harvest.

It is becoming increasingly clear that in some regions, harvest will not be able to be completed this fall. For farmers that will have to cope with grain left in the field, the impacts have the potential to be quite severe including interest charges due to missed financing payments, and lost revenue due to a degradation of grain quality over the winter.

Recognizing the challenges that exist, we are writing to urge you to begin working with your provincial counterparts immediately to assess the state of harvest, the ability of our risk management programs to respond, and to consider whether an AgriRecovery response may be warranted in certain regions that have been hit especially hard by the weather.

Our hope is that the weather will improve, the grain will get harvested, and farmers will be able to market the high-quality grain we work so hard to grow. However, should that not be possible, we expect that Federal and Provincial Governments will be prepared to step in and offer the support needed to help Canadian farmers manage this situation.

I would also like to underscore that there is an ongoing need to reform the suite of risk management programs so that producers can have more confidence in how they will respond.

We look forward to continuing to communicate with you and your officials as the fall progresses so we can be prepared to respond to the weather challenges in a timely and efficient manner. Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Sincerely,

Jeff Nielsen
President, Grain Growers of Canada
Farmer, Olds, AB

 

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