An Open Letter to our Farmer-Members

We are facing one of the most severe outbreaks of DON in corn that we have ever seen, and some areas of the province are being hit especially hard. I understand the feeling of frustration that you, our farmer-members, have with this issue. You want to know that Grain Farmers of Ontario is at work on your behalf, and you want to know what we are doing. Continue reading “An Open Letter to our Farmer-Members”

Grain Farmers of Ontario calling for the ethanol misinformation to stop

GUELPH, ON (February 1, 2012) – Once again the George Morris Centre pits farmers against one another in a report falsely accusing the ethanol industry of causing harm to livestock farmers. 

Since one third of the corn used for ethanol becomes livestock feed through an ethanol byproduct called distillers grains, the effect of the ethanol industry in Ontario on our feed supply is negligible.  In fact the George Morris Centre report actually shows that livestock production has been maintained in recent years and livestock prices have been at or near record high levels despite the growth of the ethanol industry.

“There are so many examples of erroneous information in this report that I am disappointed Canadian livestock producers would choose to point a finger at the ethanol industry as the culprit for lost revenue,” says Don Kenny, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.  “Many of my neighbors with livestock are also enjoying high grain prices so we are talking about the same farmers here.”

Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame, Grain Farmers of Ontario offers to work cooperatively with the livestock industry in pursuit of solutions that will raise the value of the whole agricultural industry.  Grain farmers are pleased with the recent gains in the livestock industry because the grain industry depends on a healthy livestock sector.

Corn yields in Ontario are growing at a rapid rate and without the ethanol industry to take the corn, there would be a significant glut in the market with a detrimental impact on corn farmer income.  In fact, the increase in corn production since 2000 is almost equivalent to the increased amount of corn going for ethanol production.

The George Morris Centre study states that there is unfair competition between livestock and ethanol grain buyers due to government subsidization and tariffs.  Grain farmers in Ontario are not protected from an influx of American corn by a tariff.  In addition, subsidies are not unique to the ethanol industry.

“The benefit of ethanol should be looked at from the big picture in Canada, not through the single lens of livestock production.  Let’s not forget that the 5% ethanol mandate is reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 2 million tonnes each year,” says Kenny. “That is equivalent to taking 440,000 cars off the road.” 

Ethanol production from grain has meant a 62 percent reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions on a per-litre, per-calorie-of-combustible-energy basis. This Canadian-made fuel contains 1.6 times the energy content that is required to grow the grain. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario invites livestock farmers across Canada to work with us on a solution to increase the value of all Canadian agricultural production at the farm gate and includes all available market opportunities. 

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.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Conference board report shows the benefits of Canada’s ethanol industry

GUELPH, ON (November 7, 2011) – A study on the economic impact of the ethanol industry in Canada and its environmental and health effects from the Conference Board of Canada mirrors Grain Farmers of Ontario’s recent findings: the ethanol industry benefits our economy and our environment.

“Good policy is based on accurate information and careful assessment of the alternatives. The purpose of this report is to assess the evidence and to contribute to policy discussions around ethanol,” said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Transportation in a release. “Our study concludes that ethanol should be part of Canada's energy mix. It is a clean transportation fuel that has a positive energy balance, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to energy self-sufficiency.”

According to the study, ethanol production in Canada has reached almost two billion litres per year and it can contribute to reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A 10 percent ethanol blend in our fuel reduces GHG emissions by four to six percent compared to gasoline. The Conference Board also looked at the economic impact of the ethanol industry and found that it contributes as much as $1.2 billion annually to the Canadian economy and accounts for more than 14,000 person-years of employment during construction and over 1,000 permanent jobs once plants are in operation.

“These findings substantiate our previous findings through our own independent research,” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “It’s very clear that the ethanol and biofuels industry is important to Canadian farmers and non-farmers alike on a myriad of levels including benefits to the environment and the economy.”

The report, Ethanol's Potential Contribution to Canada's Transportation Sector (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/documents.aspx?did=4511), is publicly available from the Conference Board's e-library (www.e-library.ca).

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.