Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

Farmers need 50,000 bales of hay to make up for drought: Ont. Federation of Agriculture. I can understand their disappointment considering how much hay they sent to the West in their time of need in 2002. Stories are below.

CBC News

Oct 9, 2012

Some farmers in eastern Ontario are receiving hay from Western Canada today, but many say the amount likely won’t have much of an impact after this year’s drought.

The first delivery of 30 bales of hay from Western Canada arrived in Cobden, Ont., northwest of Ottawa, as part of the assistance program called Hay East.

The Mennonite Disaster Service is organizing the deliveries, which are coming via train. They said over the coming weeks, they will ship 200 bales of donated hay from the West to Eastern Ontario farmers.

The 200 bales are far less than what more than 130 farmers in the area say they need — more than 13,000 bales.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has also estimated farmers in the province need 50,000 bales of hay from the west to make up for the amount of hay they have lost.

“There’s no way we can meet all the demand, no way at all,” said Hay East chairman Glenn Buck.

Buck said donations were not as high as he had hoped and shipping the hay to the east has been expensive.

“With the cost of transportation, to get it to the various parts of Ontario where it’s needed, we can only deal right now with donated hay,” said Buck.

‘A drop in the bucket’ for farmers

At Ron McCoy’s organic dairy farm in Cobden, the hay supply is dwindling.

McCoy was happy to hear he’d be getting fifteen donated bales this week. But considering he has 60 cows to feed, the delivery won’t be enough.

“It’s really just a drop in the bucket…in terms of how much everybody needs. Fifteen bales will probably last me about fifteen days,” said McCoy.

The drought forced McCoy to cull some of his cattle herd. But on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend, he appreciates the gesture.

“It just makes you feel grateful and thankful when farmers work together and help each other out,” he said. Source

Western farmers may return hay favour to easterners

Ontario farmers could receive deliveries of hay from prairie farmers, returning favour from 2002

CBC News

Aug 30, 2012

Prairie farmers could be sending hay to Ontario farmers to help them through the summer drought, a decade after 110,000 tonnes were sent by easterners to help their western counterparts.

Volunteers have been touring Ontario farmland to find the hardest hit by the unusually dry conditions. They are looking to help them out by bringing hay East, instead of sending these farmers.

“At some point, the cost of hay makes feeding the animals ludicrous, so you’re throwing money down the drain,” said Glenn Buck, chairman of Ontario’s Mennonite Disaster Service.

Buck said money does not help farmers buy hay. The transfer of hay itself is more logical and makes more financial sense.

In 2002, for example, farmers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were hit by a devastating drought. But in Ontario, crops were plentiful, so hay was sent to western farmers.

Buck received a phone call from a farmer who used to live in eastern Ontario, but has moved to Western Canada. That farmer said he had excess hay and wanted to help those struggling in Ontario.

Farmer hopes for good karma

Wyatt McWilliams, who owns a farm in Navan, on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa, sent hay West 10 years ago along with his father.

Now, he says the possibility of hay donations from prairie farmers is a heartening proposition.

“Fellow farmers are always trying to help each other,” he said.

“Hay West was the Canadian spirit. A lot of people got behind the initiative and helped out. We certainly appreciate any help we can get because it’s going to be a long winter.”

A meeting was held Wednesday to help co-ordinate shipping costs and how hay would be distributed.

The Hay East campaign is currently in the “investigation” phase, Buck said.

He added the transportation will most likely be using trains and it is still unknown where and how much hay will be transported to the East.

The Ontario Mennonite Disaster Service also said it has been contacted by organizers of a Farm Aid concert for Sept. 16.

More financial help could come via that avenue, as well. Source

Under Jean Chrétien In 2002

More hay headed West

August 11, 2002

CBC News

The Drought of 2002

Prince Edward Islanders taking part in the campaign to get hay to drought-stricken western livestock are optimistic they can get the feed shipped out.

CN Rail has agreed to put on box cars in Moncton, N.B.; Truro, N.S.’ and Quebec City to ship hay west early next week.

P.E.I. officials are trying to arrange to get the hay across the Confederation Bridge. Dozens of farmers and ordinary Islanders have said they will donate money to help defer transportation costs.

In total, rail companies are freeing up nearly 200 cars to bring the hay to the West. The federal government has chipped in $150,000 to the Hay West campaign for the short-term, as well as freeing up money for drought-assistance.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief announced that $10 million will be released immediately and will be used to fund water supply projects in drought-stricken areas in Canada.

But all that may not be enough. Thousands of donated bales of hay won’t feed the million of animals on the prairies. So producers are selling off cattle at rock-bottom prices.

Elaine Boon is trying to give away her prized Arabian horses. She says she can’t afford to feed them and nobody wants to buy them. If someone could take them off her hands, it beats the other option. “If they don’t have feed they’re going to the slaughterhouse,” she said.

It’s all taking a toll financially, and emotionally. Drought-related stress in Alberta has led to calls for a province-wide hotline for farmers.

“Emotional issues, financial issues, farm business issues, drought issues, we need to focus information about all that into one location and disperse it from there,” said Rod Scarlett of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

There is a hotline in Saskatchewan and the phones won’t stop ringing. “There can be an impact on relationships. So that’s a factor that falls into place. In addition to that, it’s a look towards what the future holds. People are looking for an alternative source of income job-wise, whether it be training, those sorts of things,” said Ken Imhoff of the Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line.

Big industries are worried about the effect of the drought as well.

Canada’s beer-makers depend on Western barley. This year, the crop is stunted and there’s not much of it.

It’s possible brewers may have to import huge amounts of barley from around the world to make Canadian beer.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is touring the Prairies next week, hoping to help governments come up with a disaster plan.

There’s also a Farm Aid benefit concert planned for Thanksgiving weekend. Source

Seems the Western Farmers have forgotten, what the Eastern Farmers did for them. Shame on them. Shame on the Harper Government, for doing little to nothing, to help the Eastern Farmers in their time of need.

Recent

U.S. meningitis cases rise to 64 / Updated October 10 2012

Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 2:19 am  Comments Off on Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: