The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) has launched a weekly survey to get a better understanding of the issues farmers will face this season.
There will certainly be challenges.
Data from a survey of over 250 farmers was collected between March 24 and April 5. The results show that over 70 per cent of respondents believe the pandemic will result in reduced commodity prices, lower revenue, and reduced cash flow.
Almost half believe they will be not be able to pay their bills.
“So far, the government’s COVID-19 support to farmers has been to increase our access to loans, but going into even more debt isn’t the answer,” said APAS President Todd Lewis in a press release. “Just look south of the border, where agriculture has received huge subsidies for years. Canadian farmers can’t compete with that, especially not during a global crisis like this. If agriculture is essential for the Canadian economy, it’s time for governments to directly invest in our farmers.”
Lewis acknowledges that the situation continues to evolve quickly, and that more data is needed.
“We want to collect real-time data from farmers that we can share directly with the government on an ongoing basis,” he explains. “We’ve updated the survey with new questions and will continue to do so weekly. We know that the situation is going to change significantly over time, so we’re asking farmers to complete the survey every week.”
The latest version of the survey will be available at www.apas.ca/survey from now until April 12.