Food vs. Fuel: the debate is over

GUELPH, ON (April 26, 2011) – A new study released by the Grain Farmers of Ontario should put an end to the ongoing debate of whether the grain we grow should be used for food or fuel.  We can and should do both.

The abundance of grain grown by farmers around the world and here in Ontario can both protect the environment and feed the world.  As farm yields climb and investments are made in farm production in the developing world, feeding and fueling the world can even be done cost effectively.

“My corn yields have increased by 35 percent since I started farming in 1975,” says Don Kenny who farms just outside of Ottawa and is the chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.  “I am confident that my land will continue to be productive and that new products and technologies will ensure my family supplies our local livestock market and the ethanol plant down the road for many years to come.”

According to the study by Dr. Terry Daynard and KD Communications, by including an average of just 5% ethanol in regular gasoline, Canadians are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tonnes annually while saving money.  Five percent ethanol blending has reduced annual family gasoline expenditures by more than $100 per year.  Ethanol is also credited with replacing hazardous compounds in gasoline used for octane enhancement and increasing engine efficiency. 

There is also good news for the world’s food supply. Food demands around the world are growing by 1.1% per year according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Fortunately, the Grain Farmers of Ontario study reveals that global grain production has increased by 1.5% per year over the past 20 years. With increasing resources now being directed to agricultural development in some of the world’s hungriest countries, especially in Africa, there is optimism that we will continue to grow the crops and increase production where the need is greatest.

“Quite frankly, it is a relief for us to learn that production of biofuels, like ethanol, here in Ontario makes such a positive contribution to our environment without any notable impact on overall food prices and the world’s ability to supply food,” says Barry Senft, CEO for Grain Farmers of Ontario.  “Regardless of this discussion, our farmers are dedicated to growing a sufficient supply of food for Canadian families”.

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.

One week left to sign up for the winter wheat challenge

GUELPH, ON (April 20, 2011) – There is one week left to prove that your field is up to the challenge. The deadline to register for Grain Farmers of Ontario’s first ever Winter Wheat Challenge is Monday, May 2, 2011. Sign up today and enter for your chance to win a grand prize of $1,500 and bragging rights in the countryside. Second place will take home $750 and third place rakes in $500.

The challenge is open to all Ontario farmers and all legal production practices are permitted. The field must be at least 10 acres and within that, a 1.5 acre plot must be weighed and graded for the challenge. Any certified milling quality winter wheat may be used.

For the full rules and a downloadable registration card, visit www.gfo.ca/winterwheatchallenge or, talk with representatives from our sponsoring companies Bayer CropScience, C&M Seeds and Hyland Seeds to get your registration card.

All registration cards postmarked by May 2, 2010 will be eligible for the competition.

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.

The environment and bio-fuels

GUELPH, ON (May 5, 2011) – Canadian biofuel is better for the environment than biofuel produced further south – in part due to our different agricultural practices – according to a new study released by the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The report, produced by Dr. Terry Daynard and KD Communications says that by including an average of just 5% ethanol in regular gasoline, Canadians are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tonnes annually.

“We’re looking at a reduction of 2.3 million tonnes of Canadian GHG greenhouse gas emissions,” says Dr. Terry Daynard, “That’s equivalent to removing 440,000 Canadian cars from the road. About two-thirds of this benefit is in Ontario.”

Efficiencies are generally higher for Canadian corn and ethanol production, compared to the south. This is due to the  lower use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (more livestock manure), less usage of lime and irrigation in Ontario corn production, and the fact that all Canadian ethanol plants use natural gas rather than coal as their source of energy.

The environmental benefits provided by ethanol are clear. Ethanol has replaced other more hazardous compounds used for octane enhancement in gasoline while also reducing harmful emissions, thus reducing the usage and importation of petroleum and refinery products – critical for a major petroleum-importing province such as Ontario – and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions.  Fuel ethanol produced from corn has 1.6 times more combustible energy than is used for its manufacture, including the production and transportation of corn.

“Ethanol blending of gasoline has proven to be an environmental benefit, and that’s been supported globally” says Barry Senft at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are proud that Canadian farmers are playing a role in this important initiative.”

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.