Finances Top List of Pandemic Concerns for Ontario Producers

Financial concerns continue to be top of mind of Ontario producers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The results of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s second online survey revealed 95% of respondents believe the pandemic will have a negative financial impact on their farm businesses. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds reported already experiencing lost revenue, while one in four indicated they believe it would take more than six months for farms to return to business as usual if the pandemic were to end today.

Personal and staff health and safety, and trade or supply chain issues were also among the chief worries cited by survey respondents.

In the OFA’s initial survey conducted in late March, 78% of respondents said they expected lost revenue and 69% were anticipating reduced cash flow.

As farm financial concerns rise, the latest OFA survey also found many farmers are already seeking financial support to help them get through. According to the results, 66% of respondents believe direct government payments would be most effective to help farms navigate these uncharted waters. Enhancements to the provincial Business Risk Management Program and modified production insurance programs were also suggestions farmers made that could help them through their financial challenges.

More than 700 members responded to the April OFA survey, up from nearly 360 participants in the initial assessment.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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