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Ontario bean growers say 35 per cent tariff on Russian fertilizer will hurt consumers


The beans in Jamie Payton’s field look fantastic, but he can’t help but feel sour about this growing season, thanks to a recent decision by the federal government.

“If they simply reverse this decision, and rescind it, I think a lot of people would have more respect for the federal government, realizing we all make mistakes,” says Payton, a St. Marys area bean producer, and vice-chair of the Ontario Bean Growers.

A 35 per cent tariff placed on Russian-made fertilizer by the federal government, has caught the ire of Ontario crop farmers. They understand the logic of penalizing Putin’s regime for his war on Ukraine, but say placing this tariff on this fertilizer doesn’t impact Russia at all, it only hurts Ontario farmers and consumers.

“This isn’t like we’re buying Russian fertilizer after they went to war with Ukraine. This was a deal that was already done. The ink was dry. Putin had his money. It was just a matter of waiting for the boats to load,” says Chair of the Ontario Bean Growers, David Woods.

Woods says the 35 per cent tariff on fertilizer that’s largely already on Ontario fields growing Ontario beans, wheat, corn and canola will ultimately lead to higher food prices.

“It’s a $60 million tax that’s going to filter down to the consumers, at the end of the day,” says Woods.

Ontario Bean Growers, David Woods, Ryan Koeslag, and Jamie Payton discussa 35 per cent fertilizer tariff in a bean field near St. Marys, Ont. on July 29, 2022. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

Canada is the only G7 nation that hasn’t exempted fertilizer from their Russian sanctions. Canada, also just came forward with a plan to force Canadian farmers to cut fertilizer use by 30 per cent by 2030, in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“The U.S has totally exempted their producers from this, so it’s very frustrating because how do we now compete, globally,” says Payton.

The Ontario Bean Growers say there isn’t enough cattle manure in the province to fertilize their crops, so the fertilizer is necessary, and Russia is the world’s largest producer of it.

“Why not make it here, and then we’re isolated from these kinds of things in the future,” suggests Woods, who would like to see the fertilizer tariff money used to fund Canadian fertilizer plants.

When Payton’s beans come off the field this fall, they’ll likely be some of the most expensive beans this field has ever produced, with a limited export market. Woods says the Canadian government’s 35 per cent fertilizer tariff will be entirely to blame.

“It’s a retroactive tariff, that does no good to help, anyone,” says Woods. Top Stories

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