Letter to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

January 15, 2016

Dear Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner,

I am writing you on behalf of the 28,000 grain and oilseed farmers that Grain Farmers of Ontario represents. We would like to request a meeting in the next couple of weeks to provide you with an overview of our industry and information about the commitment to the environment and stewardship practiced by our farmer-members.

We would also like to specifically address the comments we have seen in the media this week from your office. We firmly believe in education and collaboration. It is easy to have misconceptions – the best way to ensure that we understand your priorities for the environment and our business, as well as for you to understand our sector, is to sit down and share ideas and information.

Ontario grain and oilseed farmers grow barley, corn, oats, soybeans, and wheat and the end products made from our crops are used to feed people, provide environmentally sustainable alternatives to products traditionally produced from fossil fuels, and feed animals. The grain farming sector is a major contributor to the Ontario economy and the environment in many very positive ways. Grain farmers are stewards of both their productive and non-productive farmland. There are many wetlands and other environmentally beneficial spaces created by farmers and there are a number of ways that both farmland and farmers contribute to a sustainable Ontario environment.

I have been travelling across the province over the past week and farmers from all regions are alarmed by comments they have read in the media about coloured diesel, coming from your office. Agriculture consumes only three percent of all diesel used in Ontario. The amount of diesel used by grain farmers has steadily declined over the years as the result of improved efficiencies in farming practices (reducing machinery passes on fields) and improved fuel efficiencies in farm vehicles and machinery. The road tax exemption for coloured diesel has been in place for farmers across North America for many years, because farm machinery is not intended for use on roads. It is also important to note that Ontario grain farmers are price takers, as grain is traded on a global market – we compete directly with US farmers in the Great Lakes Basin who have significantly lower production costs.

The road tax exemption is important for Ontario grain farmers, as well as many other sectors of agriculture across the province. I look forward to discussing this, and more, with you in the near future.

Debra Conlon from our office will be in touch to schedule a meeting.


Mark Brock
Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario

Also available in .pdf format.

Stay in touch

#GrainTalk: Targeting Pest Management

On April 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m, join our free #GrainTalk webinar to hear industry experts discuss early season field topics.

Register here

Subscribe to the Bottom Line

Subscribe to The Bottom Line, the weekly newsletter that helps our members stay on top of all the news that affects their bottom line.


Inside Grain Farmers of Ontario

New episodes every week.

Episode 74: Ottawa Valley Farm Show

Weekly Commentary

Get Aggregated RSS

Grain Market Commentary for March 7, 2018

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Commodity Period Price Weekly Movement
Corn CBOT May 3.87 ↑ 13 cents
Soybeans CBOT May 10.65 ↑ 10 cents
Wheat CBOT May 4.97  02 cents
Wheat Minn. May 6.20 02 cents
Wheat Kansas May 5.34  12 cents
Chicago Oats May 2.64  06 cents
Canadian $ March 0.7731 ↓ 0.65 points

Cash Grain prices as of the close, March 7, are as follows: SWW @ $238.66 ($6.50/bu), HRW @ $233.91/MT ($6.37/bu), HRS @ $248.62/MT ($6.77/bu), SRW @ $231.54/MT ($6.30/bu).

Read more

Market Trends

Get Aggregated RSS

Market Trends Report for March-April 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

March is often a time in the grain markets where we can see movement in the production area of South America, which can be impacted by weather events. The big US crop has long been put away and is slowly moving out to end-users across the greater hinterland. Problems in Argentina with severe drought conditions have dominated the landscape over the last 30 days as prices have gone up to become much more volatile based on this weather market. Increasingly so, farmers need to watch the weather maps of South America to get clues of production conditions in the southern hemisphere.

Listen to the podcast

The USDA is starting in on their projection season. On February 22nd during their Outlook forum predictions for 2018 corn and soybean acres came in equally at 90 million acres. So let the games begin. An even bigger USDA report will come March 29th when the USDA releases its prospective plantings report. Markets will be focused on that day to see if there are any surprises.

Read more

mobile apps