May 21, 2013, Guelph, Ont – Ontario farmers are paying an estimated $22 million more every year for crop protection products than their competitors in the United States. This is according to analysis done by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA).
“Although product mix and volumes vary by crop and region, these numbers represent a disturbing amount of extra costs borne by Ontario farmers compared to our competitors south of the border,” says Ray Duc, a grape grower and chair of the OFVGA.
The analysis was completed using data from the 2012 University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus survey of averages prices for key agricultural inputs in the U.S. and Ontario, which includes fuel, fertilizer and 28 crop protection products; as well as the results of the latest Pesticide Use Survey conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF).
OFVGA analysis shows only three products of the 28 with a lower price in Ontario – RoundUp Weather Max, Guthion Solupac and Dithane DG Rainshield. All other products are more expensive in Ontario than for growers in the United States. The 28 products surveyed by the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus represent approximately 85 per cent by volume of the total crop protection products used in Ontario.
The remaining 15 per cent is made up of more than 200 other products, including some with prices up to seven times higher in Canada than the United States, which means the total cost difference could even be higher if these were taken into account.
“Crop protection is a significant input cost for our growers and since we compete against global producers of fruits and vegetables, these are extra costs that we cannot recoup from the marketplace,” adds Duc. “We need a more level playing field if our industry is to remain competitive.”