Canadian farmers stuck with last harvest scramble to plant next
"We've done some unique things that we normally wouldn't to help farmers with the cash flow they will require to plant a crop," said Jeff Vassart, president of Cargill Ltd.
Farmers who can afford fertilizer face an additional problem: railway bottlenecks are also slowing fertilizer movement, and supply is a problem after a shutdown in March at Agrium's Carseland, Alberta nitrogen plant.
"Lack of cash and lack of fertilizer availability is going to affect yields down the road," said Larry Weber, a farm analyst at Weber Commodities in Saskatchewan.
Agriculture Canada said on April 17 it expects about 16 percent less production this year, which would still amount to a big crop.
Statistics Canada reported last week that farmers intended to plant slightly less canola - one of the most expensive crops to grow - surprising the trade that was expecting the second-largest seeding on record.
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