GUELPH — Ahead of the June provincial election, the Grain Farmers of Ontario is calling on the next government to provide relief from escalating crop input costs as well as the carbon tax imposed on grain-drying. Those are a couple of the 6 election priorities recently identified by the organization as necessary to ensure the growth of the grain and oilseeds sector.
“Ontario grain farmers have the solution to many of the world problems we face that include food security, low carbon alternatives and post pandemic economic recovery,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario, which represents 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. “We need the incoming government to commit to our key policy priorities to protect our $18 billion industry that supplies world-class goods, supports employment and fuels economic growth in our communities.”
GFO says the incoming provincial government must:
• Address Supply Chain Issues and the Escalating Costs of Crop Inputs —
“To sustain our food supply, our sector needs government support to address the escalating costs of fertilizer and assist in finding new sources for the future.”
• Increase Risk Management Program Funding by $100 Million –
“Given the unpredictability of the last two years, we need stronger risk management programs to remain competitive and secure domestic food security.”
• Provide Relief on Carbon Pricing For Grain Drying –
“Until a proven alternative to fuel-fired grain-drying can be found, we need the flexibility to invest in proven climate-smart technologies.”
• Accelerate the Use of Grain-Based Renewable Fuels –
“Increasing the amount of corn ethanol in gasoline and soy renewable diesel in diesel required by the Clean Fuels Regulation will not only lower the carbon footprint of transportation fuels but support local economies and create new opportunities for grain farmers.”
• Invest in the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus –
“Investing in agricultural research will help secure domestic food security and support the next generation of sustainable farming in Ontario.”
• Create New Growth Opportunities for Farmers –
“There are many parts to the agricultural value chain in Ontario. To create jobs and grow our sector, we need government to invest in grains and oilseed processing.”
GFO says it will conduct interviews with each party and share those videos on social media in the coming weeks.