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Friday, May 18, 2012

Waiting for Apple Support

Regional | by Dan McLean  

Apple Growers Chair hosts government support comes soon, MPP will tour damage.

The Chair of the Ontario Apple Growers Association is optimistic there will be an announcement soon from the Federal Government.

Brian Gilroy says it has to be -- because politicians will be leaving for their summer break soon.

Ontario Agriculture Minister Ted McMeekin says he has talked to his federal counterpart Gerry Ritz who says the federal government is prepared to help farmers who had their crops damaged by frost last month.

Gilroy -- whose apple crop near Meaford sustained some damage -- says he has not heard what help would be offered through the existing support programs.

Gilroy points out the Agri Stability program has not helped apple farmers in the past.

65 per cent of apple farmers have crop insurance -- and Gilroy says that will help -- but he adds it will be nowhere near the kind of losses sustained by apple farmers.

Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker and MP Larry Miller will tour different orchards in the Meaford and Thornbury area on Saturday morning to examine the frost damage tomorrow morning.

Some Ontario apple producers say they have lost their entire crop to frost damage.

The industry estimate is 80 per cent of the apple crop was lost.

30 to 40 per cent of the peach crop and all of Ontario's cherries and plums have been lost to frost damage.

A more exact damage estimate is expected during the first week of June.


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