Mr. Speaker, there is a growing concern in rural Canada about the low farm commodity prices. This concern is especially prevalent in western Canada where forecasters are predicting weaker grain prices for 1998 and 1999.
One of Canada's chartered banks has already said that we could expect our export of wheat and coarse grains to decline as well. One market analyst said farmers need higher prices in order to make a go of it.
Farm gate prices which are already low are likely to worsen before they improve.
This worrisome trend is even more stark when related to rising input costs, including the cost of machinery, fertilizer, trucking costs and higher freight rates. In the west freight rates on grain have doubled and tripled since the Crow benefit was done away with by the Liberals.
Grain farmers are increasingly worried about their security and indeed about the future of the family farm.
Members of our caucus urge the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Minister of Transport and the government in general to take note before it is too late.