Eastern grain farmers say Trump administration's subsidies are driving them out of business

Grain farmers from Ontario to the Maritimes want the Canadian government to respond to American farm subsidies the same way the government has defended Canadian interests against aluminum and steel tariffs.

The Atlantic Grains Council, Grain Farmers of Ontario, and Producteurs de grains du Québec have launched a joint campaign to raise awareness of the plight of Canadian grain farmers, claiming U.S. payments make Canadian growers uncompetitive and that they will “literally” go out of business.

Grain and oilseed farmers in Eastern Canada are unable to compete with the over $32 billion in direct subsidies that Donald Trump’s administration is providing U.S. farmers, the groups say in a press release.

“We are raising awareness because the federal government must help level the playing field for our farmers facing depressed prices from a U.S. government $32 billion farm aid package that allows farmers in the U.S. an advantage over farmers in Canada, not just on price but money to invest in their operations,” says Christian Overbeek, chair, Producteurs de grains du Québec.

Grain Farmers of Ontario began its awareness campaign earlier this year. This is the first joint push between the three producer groups.

The campaign will be running on the radio and on digital platforms across Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and Quebec. You can view the ad below: (story continues…)

“Grain and oilseed farmers are united, and we want the public to better understand that while President Trump is protecting his farmers, Canada may lose many of its farms because we can’t compete. Down the road, Canada loses its ability to grow its own food, and that’s a dangerous situation for all Canadians,” says Markus Haerle, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The grain groups are not asking for direct payments to farmers, but are renewing the call for the federal government to provide more funding for the AgriStability business risk management program.

Improvements to the risk management programs has been the main push across nearly all commodity sectors, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The topic will be high on the priority list at the next federal-provincial-territorial meeting slated for mid-November.

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