Pork Producers Call for Changes to Grains and Oilseeds Payment Program

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2076. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 2 March 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2076

Manitoba Pork Council is urging Federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl to change provisions of the Grains and Oilseeds Payment Program that penalize diversified farming operations.

The 755 million dollar Grains and Oilseeds Payment Program is designed to assist grain and oilseed producers caught in the cross fire of international subsidy battles.

During a meeting earlier this week involving the Minister and representatives of 13 commodity groups, Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch expressed concerns over the program's exclusion of fed grains and a provision under which 65 percent of the value of feed purchased for livestock is deducted from the farm's eligible grain sales.

"Over the past year the government has really encouraged farmers to go into diversified farming. What's happening with this 755 million dollar grains and oilseeds program payment is that they're excluding farm fed grains again.

They've done this in the past but, at this time, they've even taken this one step farther and they're actually deducting, if you're a hog farmer and you produce grains and if you've bought any prepared feeds, they're taking 65 percent of the value of the prepared feeds and also deducting that off of your grain sales.

This, we feel, is very unfair. If you're a straight grain farmer and lost money this year you get some help with assistance, if you're a straight hog farmer you've made money in the past year but, if you're a diversified into both hogs and grain, they're forcing that diversified farmer to take the profits off his hog operation and help cover the losses in the grain operation which puts him into a virtually zero profit or a loss situation.

Again, the diversified farmer is being heavily penalized in this situation."

Kynoch maintains the grain operation and the livestock operation are distinct and the program needs to recognize that distinction.

He suggests it's puzzling that a government that actively encourages farm diversification would pick the pockets of farmers who follow that advice.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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