Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is calling on all parliamentarians to step-up action on current supply chain challenges. Valuable crop inputs, such as fertilizer, are in jeopardy of not reaching farms in time for the busy spring planting season.
“Policymakers, farmers, and other stakeholders in the agriculture value chain need to work together to respond to the food crisis that is unfolding around the world because of the tragic situation in Ukraine,” a statement reads. “Farmers are poised to plant their crops to maximize their production, but action needs to be taken immediately by governments to avoid long-term consequences to the food supply system.”
The Ontario planting season is set to begin within 14 days.
“We are driven to produce as much grain as we can, not only for our own province but for the world,” says Brendan Byrne, chair of GFO. “We can’t do this without the full support of our government and industry partners. Farmers need immediate access to input supplies including fertilizer and with fair pricing.”
GFO is asking governments to act on the following:
- To ensure the fertilizer we need arrives on time: Ontario farmers know that sourcing fertilizer from the affected region is not sustainable and is something that can be fixed going forward with new technology, innovation, and new sources, but this is not something that can be addressed in the time frame farmers have right now. Grain farmers are asking the federal government to use everything they have in their toolbox to help make sure fertilizer arrives in time for planting.
- To ensure fair market prices: supply chain issues have created volatile markets and price escalations at a time when grain farmers need consistency to produce the grains needed to feed Ontario, Canada, and the world. Grain farmers are urging the government to employ common-sense solutions that would increase the availability of fertilizer products and provide needed relief.
- Financial supports: During the pandemic, farmers went to work in their operations each day despite uncertainty and a host of new challenges. Grain farmers need to know the government has their back. Financial supports need to be explored as there is nothing within the current Business Risk Management suite that will provide the support that farmers may need if worst-case scenarios are realized on prices for fertilizer and fuel.