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.