In early March, the Canadian government imposed a 35 percent general tariff on nearly all Russian imports into Canada. That tariff includes nitrogen-based fertilizer. Now a coalition of Eastern Canadian agricultural associations has come together to lobby the federal government for financial compensation to farmers for increases in their fertilizer costs. Russel Hurst is the executive director of the Ontario Agri-Business Association.
Hurst… “Our efforts have not been answered to date. They’ve been very firm in their commitment to maintaining economic sanctions on fertilizer that’s Russian manufactured. The government policy was well-intended but, unfortunately, the unintended consequence has been a significant price increase in the farm-gate price of certain fertilizers. And, ultimately, the grower is the one that’s paid that price.”
Hurst says that this 35 percent tariff on Russian fertilizer imports has put Eastern Canadian field crop producers at a severe cost disadvantage relative to producers in other countries.
Hurst… “What we’re looking at is making the case to the Canadian government to not put Eastern Canadian farmers at a cost disadvantage. The United States, its certainly a wide-open market for Russian manufactured fertilizer, and we’re not sector-competitive. Having this fertilizer tariff removed is vitally important for the sector’s viability.”
Russel Hurst of the Ontario Agri-Business Association.