In the news

NEWS BITES THAT MATTER

Food freedom day
This past month marked an important day for farmers and consumers alike in Canada. On February 12, 2010, the average Canadian earned enough income to pay their grocery bill for the entire year. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), it took the average family just 43 days from January 1 of this year to make enough money to cover their annual food expenses.

On the day, farmers across Canada were celebrated for their role in providing some of the safest, high quality and inexpensive food in the entire world. While this is good news on one level, there is a growing concern put forward by farmer groups in regard to the sustainability of our food production system as it stands today.

On February 12, farm organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and OFA along with Farmers Feed Cities!, drew attention to an industry that is often overlooked or misunderstood. Messages went out that reminded consumers of the challenges farmers face in order to provide safe, affordable food. 

Farm organizations respond to new waste diversion act
Farmers have responded to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) with concern over a report on amending the Waste Diversion Act. The concern is that proposed changes will place increased regulatory strain and costs on Ontario farmers. 

More specifically, AGCare and Grain Farmers of Ontario, among other organizations, have sent letters to the Ministry of the Environment expressing concern over the language in the proposal. The MOE is considering new definitions of ‘producers’ of waste and hazardous waste to hold producers of waste more accountable for the cost of its disposal. The definition of “producer” could bind small scale farm businesses, such as those that participate in local farmers markets or on-farm sales, with cumbersome regulatory requirements resulting in very little improvement in waste diversion.
Letters to the MOE also reminded the Ministry of farmers’ current environmental initiatives and programs, many voluntary. The MOE was also encouraged to work closely with OMAFRA to ensure that the uniqueness of agricultural issues is considered. •

Distillers Dried Grain contracts available through CBOT
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group recently announced the launch of Distillers’ Dried Grain (DDG) agricultural commodity futures contracts, scheduled to begin trading on April 26, 2010.

Distillers’ Dried Grains, a byproduct of corn-produced ethanol, is used for animal feed. The electronically traded and physically delivered futures contracts can be used by livestock and ethanol producers, commercial corn interests and others to lock in the price of feed or to hedge their ethanol refining margin in combination with corn, natural gas and ethanol futures.

“Using the Distillers’ Dried Grain futures, along with our corn, natural gas and ethanol contracts, allows real margin management for participants in the fast-growing ethanol sector, once again highlighting the synergies of the CME Group product suite,” says Tim Andriesen, CME Group Managing Director for Commodities.
 
Each contract is equivalent to 100 short tons of Distillers’ Dried Grains. Deliverable grades must include a minimum of 26 percent protein and eight percent fat as well a maximum of 12 percent fiber and 11.5 percent moisture content. •

About Ontario Grain Farmer 358 Articles
THE ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER magazine strives to be the number one source of information for our province’s grain farmers. With a balanced mix of production, marketing, technology, research, and general interest articles, we provide farmers with valuable information in an easy-to-read format. As the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Grain Farmer is a magazine that is made by farmers, for farmers. The magazine is an important tool that supports the organization’s vision to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader.