Ontario growers seek support after losses from floods

Rain and flooding have left many Ontario farmers struggling. Beginning with a rainy spring, that in some areas delayed planting and then flooded crops, the full extent of the damage won’t be fully known until the fall harvest — but the Ontario Federation of Agriculture estimates it will easily be in the “hundreds of millions” across the province, especially in eastern Ontario and the Holland Marsh area.

“This is the second year in a row” of volatile weather, said president Keith Currie. “The areas most hit with drought last year are getting hardest hit with rain this year.”

The back-to-back bad conditions have prompted PC MPP Jim Wilson to call on the government to provide additional aid to farmers. He toured affected properties in his Simcoe-Grey, riding with staff from the agriculture minister’s office, but said he was “very, very disappointed” to hear that no new funds are forthcoming, especially when about one-third of farmers have no crop insurance.

North of Toronto, Beeton farmers Barry and Bonnie Dorsey lost hundreds of acres after a torrential storm in late June, estimating $2.5 million in damages to crops including potatoes, onions and carrots.

The government says it is “too soon to determine the full impact this year’s unpredictable weather will have on crops across the province” and Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal plans to continue to keep a close eye on the situation.

Read more at thestar.com

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