GUELPH, ON (September 26, 2014) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is concerned with the direction of the Premier’s mandate letter to the Minister of Agriculture, specifically with respect to pollinator health and access to seed treatment.
“It’s critical that any action forward is made with a clear understanding of the realities of grain farming and careful consideration to the requirements of grain farmers,” says Henry Van Ankum, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “A misstep in the regulatory process, particularly at a time when crop prices are at a four year low, could mean the difference between profit and loss for countless grain farmers across the province.”
The mandate letter calls for an action plan for 2015 and further measures by 2016 to regulate the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Grain Farmers of Ontario will continue to work with government to ensure a common sense approach is taken and looks forward to collaboration as the plan and measures are defined.
“Our members, and our industry as a whole, have demonstrated a strong commitment to the issue of pollinator health over the past two years,” says Van Ankum. “We know that our efforts to improve the situation are paying off with early indications from Health Canada reporting a decline in bee deaths over the past year.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario expects that any changes to regulations around the use of neonicotinoids will be guided by grain industry experts to ensure a practical and logical course of action is taken.
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.