Farmscape for October 5, 2020
Agri-food Economic Systems is calling for a revamp of Canada's Business Risk Management programs in response to massive agricultural subsidies being provided by the U.S. government to American farmers.
The U.S. government has provided billions of dollars in ad hoc agricultural subsides since 2018 through the U.S. Market Facilitation program and the U.S. Coronavirus Food Assistance program.
Last week Agri-Food Economic Systems released an Agri-food Policy note which looks at the impact of these ad hoc U.S supports on Canadian Business Risk Management programs.
Research Lead Dr. Al Mussell says these U.S. supports leave Canadian farmers at a severe disadvantage.
Clip-Dr. Al Mussell-Agri-food Economic Systems:
We had a program in 2018, 2019, first half of 2020, second half of 2020.
You have to think about the U.S. situation on this.
Producers there are now used to this money so there's going to be pressure to keep that money flowing.
You've got Senators and commodity groups worried that the allocation of money they've paid out isn't fair so they've rejigged it.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the first go round on hogs, they had money there for market hogs.
I believe it was 18 dollars a hog and they were only able to spend about 40 percent of it.
That by itself tells you there were some pretty disappointed people who wanted that money.
Now, in the second round, it's 23 dollars a hog and it appears it's a lot less restrictive to be able to access it.
So you have to think that these things are going to keep going on or at least there's a risk of that and if that's indeed the case I think time is of the essence.
Dr. Mussel says government needs to make the fixes to its business risk management programs now and then worry the about what comes next later because these programs are not designed for an environment like this.
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