Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

January 26, 2005 18:00 ET

WHO CAN GIVE FARMERS IN CANADA THE HELP THEY ARE LOOKING FOR?

Farmers Focus on Declining Farm Income as Top Issue Facing Canadian Agriculture Today and Are Looking for a Leg Up Attention: Agriculture Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor WINNIPEG, MB--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 26, 2005) - Most commercial farmers in Canada feel that provincial organizations best represent their interests and until the U.S. border re-opens, BSE will remain the number one issue across the country. These findings come from the second Canadian Farm Trends Report, prepared by Ipsos-Reid's Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health Division.

Many of the top issues farmers face today relate to the continuing decline of farm incomes and decreased profitability. In addition to BSE, agriculture producers believe Canada's leaders and organizations representing farmers should address low commodity prices, trade barriers and the price of farm inputs as the top issues impacting on Canadian agriculture in general. Considering the major issues mentioned by farmers across the country, it becomes clear that they are seeking some help and need a leg up.

These results are part of the findings of the Canadian Farm Trends Report poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health between October 20th and November 6th, 2004. Telephone interviews were completed with a representative randomly selected sample of 875 commercial farmers with farm sales of $50,000 or more. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire Canadian commercial farm population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and farm type compositions reflect the actual Canadian commercial farm population according to the 2001 Census data.

Farmers Focus on Declining Farm Income as Top Issue Facing Canadian Agriculture Today and Are Looking for a Leg Up

Many of the top issues farmers face today relate to the continuing decline of farm incomes and decreased profitability. In addition to BSE (49%), agriculture producers believe Canada's leaders and organizations representing farmers should address low commodity prices (28%), trade barriers (26%) and the price of farm inputs (20%) as the top issues impacting on Canadian agriculture in general. Considering the major issues mentioned by farmers across the country, it becomes clear that they are seeking some help and need a leg up.

L'union de a producteurs agricole (UPA) is the dominant voice of producers in Quebec (70%), the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is a key organization in Ontario (46%), Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is the most often mentioned in Manitoba (52%) and producers in Saskatchewan most frequently mention the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) (20%) as an organization that best represents their interests.

-Various commodity organizations are mentioned in other provinces.
-Among national organizations, the Canadian Cattleman's Association (CCA) is most prominent (6%), mentioned by twice as many producers as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) (3%).
-Three in ten farmers are unable to identify any organization that best represents their interests (9% None; 20% Unsure), suggesting that many farmers are not aware of whom to turn to and believe their voice will simply not be heard.

In terms of farm management, producers turn to provincial agriculture departments (18%) most often for information and advice on managing their farm operation. Personnel at farm supply outlets (12%) and Accountants (10%) are also frequently mentioned resources. Agriculture Canada (3%) is fairly distant in the list as a source of advice on farm management issues.

-A third of farmers are unable to identify any organization that they can turn to for information and advice about managing their farm operation (29% None; 2% Unsure), suggesting that many farmers believe they are alienated and on their own.

These results are part of the findings of the Canadian Farm Trends Report poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health between October 20th and November 6th, 2004. Telephone interviews were completed with a representative randomly selected sample of 875 commercial farmers with farm sales of $50,000 or more. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire Canadian commercial farm population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and farm type compositions reflect the actual Canadian commercial farm population according to the 2001 Census data.

For more information on this news release or the Canadian Farm Trends Report, please contact:

Curtis Johnson
Senior Vice President
Ipsos-Reid Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health
(204) 949-3110

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Contact Information

  • Curtis Johnson, Senior Vice President, Ipsos-Reid Agribusiness, Food and Animal Health
    Primary Phone: 204-949-3110
    E-mail: curtis.johnson@ipsos-reid.com