07 July 1999
Canadian farmers plead for help

CANADAS prairie-province farmers say they are facing a disastrous harvest and are appealing for government help.

The farmers have been hit by a combination of low commodity prices and heavy spring rains.

Wheat, durum, canola, barley are among the crops affected and expected to lead to a production loss amounting to C$300 million (£130m).

Some 3m acres in Manitoba and Saskatchewan will not be planted this year because the land is saturated, the government estimates.

The governments in the two provinces have agreed to provide farmers with C$50 (£22) per unseeded acre, the minimum needed to get through the year.

Appeals are being made for assistance from the central government, so far to no avail.