(Longueuil) Believing themselves to be in poor economic health, 11% of Quebec farms are considering closing down in the next twelve months in order to meet their financial obligations.
This is revealed by a survey conducted by the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) among its members, the results of which were released on Wednesday morning. The survey was conducted by the agricultural union with 3,675 of the province’s 28,315 agricultural businesses.
“ The horizon is darkening for a growing number of Quebec farms ”, said Martin Caron, president of the UPA, during a press conference in Longueuil.
Inflation, rapidly rising interest rates, exploding fertilizer prices and rising fuel prices: It’s start-ups and livestock farms in remote areas that are most affected by the difficult economic environment, says -he.
“The impact of the increases is unequivocal. During the year, 65% of companies plan to reduce or postpone their investments, 14% plan to reduce the size of their business and 11% plan to stop or close their business,” lamented Mr. Caron, who is also a producer. dairy.
Martin Caron points out that the average increase in production costs on the farm is well above inflation.
Consequently, 15% of agricultural businesses consider themselves to be in a “poor” financial situation and 4% in a “very bad” position. Additionally, 46% of farms believe the situation is likely to deteriorate over the next 12 months.
The financial health of future agricultural businesses is even more precarious. 19% of farmers under the age of 40 claim that their business is in a “poor” financial situation and 5% in a “very bad” financial situation.
“We have been sounding the alarm for several years about the increase in everything: land, assets, inputs, machinery and so on. During this time, the programs no longer take into account the reality of the reliefs. Added to this are the increase in interest rates and production costs. All of this combined together is a real time bomb,” said Julie Bissonnette, president of the Fédération de lalève agricole du Québec.
The UPA is asking the Government of Quebec to put in place — for companies in great financial difficulty — an “emergency account” type measure or a financial assistance program that would allow them to recapitalize their working capital.
They are also asking the Financière agricole du Québec to improve its protection program against rising interest rates for all emerging businesses.