Politicians, particularly politicians in opposition, like to play cheap political games every time there’s a drought. Jack Layton stopped in Saskatoon over the weekend and he renewed his call on the federal government to come up with emergency drought money for farmers. However, the federal NDP leader doesn’t seem to have the foggiest notion for how that should happen. The best tool devised for dealing with crop failures is Crop Insurance. It provides a method to measure yield shortfalls and compensate farmers accordingly. Is it perfect? No, far from it. But the program does provide far more protection than a few years ago because the insured prices of crops are much higher. Jack Layton probably doesn’t realize it, but no one has income from this year’s crop yet. How the heck could you come up with some sort of drought payment for grain producers at this point? The more immediate problem is with cow-calf producers. Financial returns have been ugly and the drought is causing an accelerated sell off of the beef breeding herd. If Jack Layton and other politicians want to be useful, they should come up with meaningful ways to address the problems in that sector. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC