FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As the start of the planting season draws near, Canadian canola farmers are growing quite concerned with the future of the industry with China’s recent halt of canola imports.
According to the Chinese Government, the recent halt of imports of Canadian canola is due to pest-related issues.
The Canadian Canola Growers Association says China is one of Canada’s largest canola customers, typically purchasing 40 percent of Canada’s canola seed exports translating to $26.7 billion annually.
The Growers Association understands that the uncertainty of the market is not sitting well with farmers as most have pre-purchased seed and fertilizer during the offseason, with hopes of making a good return following the harvest.
“Understandably, the factors impacting the canola market are creating uncertainty for farmers as they prepare to enter the fields. For many, seed and fertilizer purchases were made months ago to meet their crop rotation and seeding plans. Additionally, delivery and price options for canola stored on-farm are affected until the market re-opens or new customers are found. With many operating expenses already committed and increased market uncertainty, managing cash flow is top of mind for canola farmers.”
The CCGA says a resolution to this issue is required in order to protect farmers, the agri-food sector, and the Canadian economy.
Last week, the Federal Conservatives called on the Liberal Government to take action on this file before further damage is done.
The Grower Association says they will continue to work with its provincial canola grower association members and the Canola Council of Canada to ensure the voice of the 43,000 farmers who grow canola is central and to press for a solution.