By Connor Lynch
Not all is hunky-dory in farm country. New trade deals represent an opportunity for hog farmers but another challenge for dairy, as the new North American trade deal (CUSMA) includes yet more market loss. Commodity prices are slipping, though a low dollar should help bolster that through the coming year.
Farm Credit Canada offered its economic outlook last month. Farmers Forum visited the meeting at North Gower and asked farmers: What’s your main concern about 2019?
“My son just got into the industry again in January (2018). Now our quota’s been cut and we’ve lost Class 7. Rising interest rates are a concern when you’re just starting. We’re watching our cost of production really closely.”
“Markets. Consumers are getting more price-sensitive, and sheep can be a luxury item.”
Sheep, hay farmer
North Gower, Ont.
“Grain prices. With the trade war, what’s going on with China hurt us this fall. I’m hoping that they’ll work it out.”
Cash crop farmer
“We’re mostly wholesale. We’re trying to figure out how to move more product there. The past season was very bad for stuff coming in from the U.S. (at lower prices). The minimum wage is still a squeeze. It’s frozen now but will rise again.”
“The CUSMA. That’s the biggest problem. What’s going to happen with quota? We’re going to get some paycheque? Where is it? As a dairy farmer, I’m not asking the government for money. I can make a living on quota. When we lose it, the onus should be on the government to figure out what we lost and get it to us.”
Dairy, poultry, cash crop farmer