McGuinty makes RMP permanent

GUELPH, ON (March 29, 2011) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is enthusiastic and pleased with the commitment the McGuinty government has made to Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers with the inclusion of a permanent risk management program (RMP) in the budget.

RMP is a cost-shared, insurance program that provides stability to farmers when grain markets are volatile. 

“The RMP model has been piloted for four years and has shown great value for grain farmers,” says Don Kenny, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We appreciate the efforts and support of Premier Dalton McGuinty and Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell in protecting the viability of our 28,000 members’ farms.”

The decision to make RMP permanent demonstrates the government’s long-term dedication to Ontario’s food supply and rural communities.

“Ontario’s grain farmers should celebrate today’s news,” continues Kenny. “The leadership shown today by the McGuinty government sets a new standard in the province and ensures the sustainability of our family farms.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

2011 Soybean Yield Challenge launched at Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic

LONDON, ON (MARCH 21, 2011) – With over 400 farmers present, Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario announced the start of the 2011 Soybean Yield Challenge. Farmers were invited to pick up their registration cards and try their hand at the prizes.

“It’s a great competition and farmers are definitely excited about it this year,” says Kenny. “It’s a really great opportunity to recognize Ontario’s elite growers and to give everyone a chance to learn from one another.”

This year’s challenge is slightly different from last year as it is split into two divisions – an IP division and a non-IP division.

“IP and non-IP soybeans require different management practices and we wanted to recognize those differences within the challenges,” says Crosby Devitt, manager of research and market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “The new divisions also allow us to hand out more prizes, which is always fun.”

The challenge is still separated into heat unit zones and winners will be chosen in each zone within each division. Two grand prizes will be awarded to the IP farmer and the non-IP farmer with the highest yield. Both farmers will win a trip for two to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

Winners in each zone in each division will win a cash prize of their yield multiplied by their bushels per acre. Runners up in each zone will win admission to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and their local farm show – London, Ottawa or Toronto.

The IP prizes are made possible by DuPont and the non-IP prizes are made possible by Monsanto.

Farmers can collect registration cards from Grain Farmers of Ontario or the industry sponsors of the competition: Monsanto, DuPont, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Hyland Seeds, Syngenta Seeds, Mycogen Seeds, Dekalb, Maizex Seeds, Country Farm Seeds and SeCan.

Challenge information, including rules and a downloadable registration card is also available at www.gfo.ca/soybeanyieldchallenge.

The deadline to register is July 29, 2011.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Wheat challenges highlighted at Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic

LONDON, ON (MARCH 21, 2011) – Excitement was building about the upcoming crop year as Grain Farmers of Ontario launched the 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge and highlighted the 2011 Winter Wheat Challenge at the March Classic.

The two challenges are part of Grain Farmers of Ontario’s suite of production challenges which aim to recognize the elite farmers of Ontario while providing an important venue for discussion of production practices that lead to high yields and good quality crops.

“Ontario has excellent wheat growers and it’s important we celebrate that,” says Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “They are friendly competitions that all wheat farmers should consider. Even if you don’t think you’re going to win, it’s a great way to learn about what you’re neighbours and friends are doing to achieve those high yields,” he continues.

The 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge comes on the heels of the successful inaugural year of the competition. The average yield for last year’s registrants was 71.9 bushels per acre, a whopping 36 percent higher than the provincial average for the year.

2011 is the first year of the Winter Wheat Challenge. “Many farmers have been thinking about their winning strategies since the fall when the challenge was announced at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show,” says Crosby Devitt, manager of research and market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “But if early scouting is telling you that your crop is in good shape, you should definitely register for the challenge,” he continues.

In both challenges, the first place winner will take home a $1,500 prize with the second highest yield being awarded $750. The third place winner will receive $500.

The challenges are open to all spring and winter wheat growers in the province and all legal production practices are permitted. Certified seed must be used and the wheat must be graded at milling quality, either grade 1, 2 or 3.

Both challenges are made possible by generous support from Bayer CropScience, C&M Seeds and Hyland Seeds.

Farmers can collect registration cards from Grain Farmers of Ontario or our industry sponsors. Challenge information including rules and a downloadable registration card is also available at www.gfo.ca/springwheatchallenge and www.gfo.ca/winterwheatchallenge.

The deadline to register for the Spring Wheat Challenge is June 30, 2011 and the deadline to register for the Winter Wheat Challenge is May 2, 2011.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Late addition to the Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic

GUELPH, ON (March 16, 2011) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is excited to announce Kevin O’Leary as a late addition to the March Classic conference line up for Monday next week.

O’Leary is well known for his ruthless grilling of entrepreneurs on the popular CBC show Dragon’s Den and is now a judge on the ABC show Shark Tank.  As an “Eco-preneur,” O'Leary specializes in investments that make money while being environmentally friendly and is the co-host for Discovery Channel's Discovery Project Earth, which explores ways we can reverse global warming.

“Some last minute changes to the agenda for the day have made it possible to add this knowledgeable and opinionated business leader to our lineup,” says Barry Senft, CEO.  “I enjoy Dragon’s Den each week and look forward to O’Leary’s insight into our industry and his no nonsense style of delivery at the March Classic.”

In 1993, with no money, O’Leary launched The Learning Company, which developed software that helped kids with reading and math. Six years later, he sold it to Mattel for 3.7 billion dollars, one of the largest tech deals in Canadian history.  In 2003, he co-founded Storage Now, Canada's leading developer of climate controlled storage facilities; in 2007, it was acquired by In Storage REIT, for $110 million dollars.  He is currently the chairman of O’Leary Funds, a company that offers a global perspective and investment intelligence to deliver high-quality, actively managed global investment portfolios.

With candor and unmatched business smarts, Kevin O'Leary will draw on his encyclopedic knowledge of finance, investing, economics and business to discuss a variety of topics relevant to our members’ farm businesses.

Registration to the Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic on March 21st in London, Ontario is still open but tickets are selling fast. Contact Kristyn Kline at 1-800-265-0550 to reserve your seat today.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic industry speakers

GUELPH, ON (March 01, 2011)  – Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic will offer global industry insight for Ontario growers. Buyers of corn, wheat, and soybeans will explain their experiences with Ontario product and how adjustments in on-farm practices will help ensure the sustainability of grain farming on our province.

A great supporter of Grain Farmers of Ontario , Jan Wescott of Spirits Canada, will offer a wealth of knowledge about the corn quality requirements for fine Canadian whisky. The whisky industry is unique and proves to be a marketing channel of interest for many Ontario grain farmers. Remote distilleries often rely on the convenience of local farm supplies of corn whereas border locations have numerous options. Wescott will share how we can keep Ontario distilleries buying domestic corn.

Travelling all the way from the United Kingdom (UK), Warburton’s Bob Beard, will join the Grain Farmers of Ontario conference to discuss their wheat program and how they select their wheat suppliers. Warburtons is an artisan bakery that has been highly successful in the UK for 130 years. The company purchases all their wheat from the UK and Canada and has implemented traceability all the way back to the farm. Beard will provide great insight into the differences between Western and Eastern Canadian wheat in baked goods.

Finally, CRFA President Gordon Quaiattini will speak to the March Classic crowd about the status of renewable grain based fuels in Ontario. From biodiesel to ethanol, Quaiattini will flow knowledge of the current and future position of renewable fuels domestically and internationally as well as the economic impact on farm and on a macro-scale.

These three powerful industry alliances will provide an opportunity for Ontario’s grain farmers to address marketing and end-use requirements of their crops. To register for the March Classic visit www.gfo.ca/MarchClassic or call the Grain Farmers of Ontario office at 1-800-265-0550. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Optimism for Ontario grain exports to the European Union

GUELPH, ON (February 24, 2011)  – Grain Farmers of Ontario is optimistic about the approval of a proposal earlier this week that would allow animal feed that contains trace elements of genetically modified (GM) material to be imported into the European Union (EU).

On February 22, the EU Member States approved a new rule that, if adopted by the European Commission, will accept up to 0.1 percent GM material in imported animal feed.

Last month, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Grain Farmers of Ontario chair, Don Kenny travelled to Brussels, Belgium to advocate for a GM tolerance level for future shipments. Meetings were held with EU Commissioners, Members of Parliament and key industry representatives to emphasize the importance of supporting science-based trade regulations.

The EU is Canada’s largest export market for soybeans. “In 2009, Canada exported approximately a million tonnes of soybeans to the EU,” says Kenny. “Allowing a low-level presence of unapproved GM in grain shipments would remove a barrier to future exports and provide security for Ontario grain farmers.”

2010 was a phenomenal year for soybean production in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba as a record 4.2 million tonnes were produced. Of this production, approximately 2.7 million tonnes will be exported.

This approval by the EU is promising and Grain Farmers of Ontario looks forward to a solution that also includes access for Canadian grains for uses in food. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario conference theme announces – “Agriculture – Ontario’s Economic Superpower”

GUELPH, ON (February 15, 2011) Grain farmers in Ontario will have lots to celebrate at this year’s GFO March Classic on March 21st. Grain prices, sector growth and optimism are making agriculture a key industry for the province.  Our success has inspired the theme for this year’s conference: ‘Agriculture – Ontario’s Economic Superpower’.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that while the total revenue of the manufacturing industry has fallen by 10 percent in Ontario over five years, the agriculture and agri-food sub-section has enjoyed 11 percent growth over the same period.  The January Agriculture Business Barometer from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicates optimism levels in the agriculture sector are at a four year high. 

“The information shared from this year’s speakers at the March Classic will build on this success,” says GFO CEO, Barry Senft. “Our vision is to drive our industry to become a global leader and the 21st of March will be the catalyst.”

Global business leaders will present in the afternoon of the GFO March Classic to discuss opportunities and challenges for farmers in a global context.  GFO’s farmer members will learn business strategies and market insight from agribusiness leaders intended to inspire business planning beyond the farm gate.

“Ontario’s farmers are in an ideal economic and social climate right now with higher grain prices, the buy local movement creating niche opportunities and world markets opening through new trade agreements,” says Senft.  “We hope the conference is the launch for major industry growth over the next few years.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Ontario’s grain farmers applaud the defeat of Bill C474

GUELPH, ON (February 11, 2011) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is relieved that Canada’s science-based regulatory system was upheld after bill C474 was defeated in third reading in the House of Commons.

Bill C474 recommended changes to the Seeds Regulations that would require export market analysis to be done before any new GMO technologies pass through the Canadian regulatory process.  In Canada, new GMO traits go through a rigorous evaluation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before they can be grown– a clear, predictable process evaluating new technologies based on sound science.

“I just returned from a trade mission to Brussels, Belgium with Agriculture Minister Ritz where we asked the EU to take a science-based approach to trade and GM crops,” says Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.  “This bill would have undermined everything we advocated for.”

Canada exports over 30 million tonnes of grain every year to more than 70 countries worldwide.  The trade revenue to Canada from these exports is over $12 billion.

“The defeat of this bill is a real win for Ontario grain farmers.  It ensures we have access to the technology we need to increase crop yields, lower our costs, protect the environment and be competitive,” says Kenny.  “We are grateful to the many MPs who lead the defeat of this bill including Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Biofuels regulations great news for Ontario’s grain farmers

GUELPH, ON (February 11, 2011)  – The commitment from the government to move forward with the regulations for two percent renewable fuel content in diesel fuel is great news for Ontario’s grain farmers.

This two percent mandate will mean a demand for 500 million litres per year of bio-diesel across Canada that will boost local demand and strengthen prices for soybean and canola farmers.  This will mean more marketing options for our farmers and more jobs for Canadians – a true win-win.

“A conservative estimate of the ethanol industry’s impact on local corn prices is an increase of $0.10 to $0.25 per bushel, depending on the year and location of the farm,” said Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario at the announcement in Hamilton.  “It will be a similar story for soybeans as a result of bio-diesel production.”

Farmers are not the only ones who will benefit from higher grain values as a result of the growth of the biofuels industry.  Income stability for Ontario’s grain farmers becomes money spent in our rural communities.  It also means a stronger, more sustainable provincial economy where 40,000 jobs in the supply chain depend on our production of grain.

A national investment in biodiesel production is not just an economic win for the country, but also has a significantly positive impact on the environment.  The production of crops for biodiesel can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent compared to fossil fuels.

“Thank you to the Canadian government for the implementation of a Renewable Fuels Strategy that will truly benefit our farmers, our rural communities and all Canadians,” summarized Kenny.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Agriculture – Ontario’s economic superpower

GUELPH, ON (February 4, 2011) The theme for Grain Farmers of Ontario’s (GFO) 2011 March Classic conference is ‘Agriculture – Ontario’s Economic Superpower’.

Ontario corn, soybean, and wheat crops generate over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province. Annually, farm gate receipts result in $2.5 billion alone. 

Agriculture competes with the automotive industry for the top economic driver in Ontario. GFO takes pride in the impact our 28,000 grain farmers make with their production and marketing capabilities.

The March Classic will feature grain buyers from around the world speaking about Ontario grain quality and uses. To join us for this powerful conference, register today at: www.gfo.ca/MarchClassic.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.