Local canola producers say they’re watching Canada’s trade relationship with China closely as the country banned another major Canadian producer from exporting their canola to China.

Sharedon Farms Elevator Manager Jeff Curry tells CTV News there is concern over the export ban in midwestern Ontario.

The Owen Sound-based canola producer says he may not plant as many seeds this year because of the uncertainty of the market.

“We are watching it fairly closely because we do grow canola, that’s part of our crop rotation and with all this going on it makes us wonder whether we are going to maybe plant any this year,” Curry says.

He adds that prices have dropped substantially and while he will likely end up planting, it will be a reduced number of acres.

“I think a lot of things are up in the air. Everybody’s concerned. Everybody’s scared,” Curry says.

Planting season is quickly approaching with most Ontario canola planted in late April or early May.

China first banned Canola exports from Manitoba-based producer Richardson International last month, and this week announced a ban on Regina-based Viterra, citing concerns over alleged contaminated shipments.

Curry says it’s concerning and although it is mainly impacting western Canada's producers, there is the fear that China could extend the ban to other crops.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday he is considering sending a high-profile delegation to China in the coming weeks.

Curry says it’s still “early days,” but producers across the country will be watching closely.

“There’s a rumour that they aren’t going to stop at canola. What happens if it expands to other crops? And you know I can see maybe the [United] States and China coming to an agreement and we’re going to be left behind."

He adds, “Canola is a small portion of what’s grown in Ontario and a lot of it's used here, it’s crushed here. Out west most of that’s exported and if it’s China it’s - you know - they bought like 40 per cent of everything Canada produced as far as canola goes and it’s a pretty big number. What are you going to do with all the excess?”

Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs tells CTV News in an email they are, "engaged with the federal government and the canola industry to understand the impacts on Ontario."

But the ministry stresses Ontario accounts for only a small percentage of Canada's exports, "Ontario’s exports of canola seed to China (including Hong Kong) represented 0.2 per cent ($4.9 million) of Canadian exports of canola seed to China in 2018."