One in five farms unable to pay their debts: farmers cry out from the heart

Farmers at the end of their rope can no longer stand the vagaries of the weather, the explosion of interest rates and the high cost of transport, which prevent them from being able to fight on equal terms against cheaper vegetables from Mexico in store, reveals an explosive survey obtained by The newspaper.

“I haven’t paid myself a paycheck since December,” says Philippe Leguerrier, a carrot producer from Blainville, who is struggling with the weather and the cheaper vegetables from Mexico that make his living. lasts in store.

Nearly one farm in five is unable to pay its debts, reveals a survey by the Union of Agricultural Producers obtained by The newspaper. Philippe Leguerrier feels this reality, having lived without new money for six months.

“I’m drawing on what I’ve saved for a long time. I will get through this, but I hope that we will have emergency aid,” warns the producer from the Basses-Laurentides, who grows Nantes, colored, organic carrots and beets.

Philippe Leguerrier does not have his tongue in his pocket. He’s the one who already took out his boots in the middle of the congress to upset the minister.

The island of Orléans affected

315 kilometers away, in Sainte-Famille, on the island of Orléans, the season of producer Francis Blouin promises to be “more than uncertain”. In his fields, he grows asparagus, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

“The snow cover in December was insufficient to protect the crops,” he illustrates. The torrential rains of June caused diseases which left scars in the strawberry fields, compromising a new season.

Worse still, producers he knows have already completely destroyed their fields “because they know it won’t be worth their energy,” says the farmer. “Usually I try to be more positive,” he sighs.

Explosions everywhere

At the beginning of the year, The newspaper had reported that producers here had the feeling of being misunderstood.

Today, the price of fuel and rising wages are increasingly hurting farmers like Philippe Leguerrier, who could hardly do it without the help of his wife who works for wages.

Climatic hazards (84%), increases in interest rates (84%), drop in market prices (78%), increase in transport costs (72%)… a recent survey by the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) shows to what extent farmers are affected by these impacts.

“Thousands of agricultural businesses are paying the price for the government’s hesitation to intervene. Quebec agriculture is in crisis. By failing to support our farms, food autonomy is compromised,” denounces its general director Charles-Félix Ross.

Provided by UPA

Provided by UPA

Two jobs to arrive

At Newspaper, Philippe Leguerrier goes so far as to say that more and more farmers are finding a second job to make ends meet.

“I know a lot of people who now do snow removal or packing imported vegetables. They always do better than those who are just producers,” he concludes.

– With the collaboration of Jean-Philippe Guilbault



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