Farmers are not having it easy at the moment and for once it has nothing to do with the weather, but rather with production costs exploding as well as the rise in interest rates which has been the last straw. of water that broke the camel's back.
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The 2% rate increase means $500 million more in borrowing costs for farmers. This is in addition to the shock of high inflation, the explosion in the cost of inputs and fertilizers, the shortage of labor and the strike at Agropur.
At the Guychamp farm in Saint-Maurice, the construction of a new barn went from $500,000 to $3 million, the monthly diesel bill jumped from $800 to $4,000. The price of plastic wrap to wrap hay has doubled.
This is the worst period in the history of this farm. “Since we have been in the world, we have never experienced a pandemic like this and all the impacts and effects that it brings. Financially, it's unheard of," lamented Hélène Champagne, co-owner. This one still keeps the morale. A few weeks ago, the UPA launched a call for help in both Quebec and Ottawa.
At best, a program has been enhanced to ensure farmers can rely on sufficient cash to pay the bills. “They told us that there were programs that were already there. There is an increase in an authorized prepayment program. We went from $100,000 without interest to $250,000. It was greatly appreciated because it brings a certain liquidity. However, it will take much more than that to support agricultural producers,” pleaded Martin Caron, president of the UPA.