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Looking Ahead: Marketing of harvested grains for export markets

Joint Message from Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Agri Business Association, and Seeds Canada

October 12, 2023

As Ontario farmers and agri-businesses are focused on harvesting activities and planning for the year ahead, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Agri Business Association and Seeds Canada remind farmers and the entire supply chain of the need for stewardship to protect market access and enable access to innovation. This includes adhering to established marketing channels for corn hybrids that have not yet received import approvals in key markets, such as the European Union (EU).

Stewardship is a shared commitment along the value chain, from seed developers to farmers to grain marketers, and is designed to address a range of issues including the lengthy process to secure trait approval in some export markets.

All corn hybrids sold in Ontario are approved for cultivation and for use as food and feed within Canada and the U.S. The vast majority of corn hybrids sold in Ontario have also received import authorization in many importing countries. However, delays and uncertainty in the EU’s regulatory process present a particular challenge for Ontario’s corn value chain as both individual traits and stacked products (i.e., a combination of individual traits) require regulatory approval. As a result of these delays, trait stacks for certain corn hybrids sold in Ontario are not currently approved in the EU (see Seeds Canada’s corn hybrid database and/or company seed guides for more information).

While the majority (approx. 90%) of corn grown in Ontario is used domestically, maintaining, and expanding access to export markets for both corn and processed by-products is vital for a profitable corn value chain. The EU continues to be an important and growing market for Canadian corn representing 66% of total exports sales in 2022. In 2022, six of the top 10 export markets for Canadian corn were EU member countries.

The regulatory status of a seed variety is an important consideration when making seed purchase decisions for the upcoming crop year. Adherence to product stewardship guidelines for non-EU approved varieties are an important step in maintaining market access to export markets. Farmers should contact their seed supplier if they are unaware or unsure of these requirements. There are marketing limitations that exist with non-EU approved varieties. If a farmer does plant non-EU approved varieties next year, they should contact their grain buyer to determine if they will be receiving harvested grains from these varieties. Farmers can continue to market corn with non-approved traits by following established stewardship requirements into appropriate channels that primarily include, but not limited to, domestic feed and ethanol markets.

Access to innovation and export markets are both vital to our sector. The supply chain supports the responsible introduction and adoption of new technologies for Ontario’s farmers, which consider regulatory approvals domestically and in key export markets which helps all participants within the agri-food value chain maintain competitiveness and profitability, manage risk, and expand market access in a competitive global marketplace. The supply chain also supports stewardship, including adherence to appropriate grain channeling, as required, so Ontario grain farmers and exporters continue to have unfettered access to key export markets.

Code of Practice for Trade in Barley, Canola, Corn, Oats and Wheat in Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario has developed a Code of Practice with the Ontario Agri Business Association and the Ontario Canola Growers Association as a recommendation of best practice for dispute resolution for producer deliveries to country or terminal elevators.

View Code of Practice

Grain Contracts Guide

Grain contracts are essential to your farm’s marketing plan and the sale of your grain. View this guide for general information on understanding your grain contract.

View Grain Contracts Guide

Agreement for the Marketing of the Ontario Soybean Crop

The Soybean Marketing Agreement is established under the authority of Farm Products Marketing Act Ontario Regulation 485/09. It sets out responsibilities for all parties related to the marketing of Ontario soybeans.

View Soybean Marketing Agreement

Drying Charges Calculator

Shrinkage occurs whenever wet grain is dried. As grain is dried, moisture is removed from the grain resulting in a loss of volume and a weight loss. Please consult this link to The Canadian Grain Commission to calculate weight loss due to drying. This link is for informational purposes only.

Note that this calculation does not include any losses that can occur when mechanically dried and handled to and from the dryer. Commercial elevators have other charges and deductions associated with their moisture tables. Ensure you are aware of the actual conversion and drying charges (if applicable) ahead of grain delivery.

Practice Safe Storage to Prevent OTA in Cereals

Preventing even the smallest pockets of OTA-contaminated cereals during storage is the only way to manage OTA and help reduce the risk of toxins being produced and avoiding product recall. Keep it Clean provides tips on how to manage on-farm storage to reduce risk.

Soybean Moisture Shrink Calculator

Grain Farmers of Ontario developed a calculator to help soybean growers to understand and calculate moisture discounts for soybeans.

SellSmart App

Find CBOT futures pricing and proprietary cash basis prices for grain elevators across Ontario. Find this app and more on the Mobile Apps page.

Seed Declaration Form Information

Starting July 1, grain farmers in Ontario will be asked to fill out the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) “Declaration of eligibility of grain at delivery” at CGC licensed terminal elevators and may be asked to complete the form at country elevators that are not licensed by the CGC but make sales to licensed terminal elevators. View our Frequently Asked Questions factsheet.

Stay updated with the latest futures prices

Find regular futures prices updates on Twitter at @GrainFarmers or on the weekly GrainTALK Newsletter.

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