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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER

Deferred payments now permitted under the Grains Act
The Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA) and Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are pleased with the recent changes that OMAFRA has made to the deferred payment regulations. 

As a result of this regulatory change, it is “business as usual” in producer/elevator arrangements regarding deferred payments. This change in regulations provides relief from the “non compliance” status of deferred payment arrangements between elevators and producers through until July 1, 2012. 

Elevators and producers entering into deferred payment arrangements will not be subject to compliance or enforcement activities by Agricorp. However, other provisions of the Grains Act will continue to be enforced. It is important to note that any deferred payment arrangements entered into going forward between a producer and elevator should not have a settlement date that extends beyond July 1, 2012. 

OABA and GFO thank the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carol Mitchell, for her swift action in making the necessary regulatory change to facilitate deferred payments until a permanent solution is reached. 

Early in 2011, representatives from OABA and GFO will meet with Agricorp and OMAFRA again to develop a strategy for addressing this important business practice within the Grains Act with the intent to have this situation permanently resolved well in advance of the July 1, 2012 deadline. •

Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program applications due March 11
The March 11, 2011 deadline for applications to Class 14 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) is fast approaching.  Current and emerging leaders who wish to apply for this fast paced leadership development program are encouraged to call (519) 826-4204 or visit www.aalp.on.ca

The 48 day program is delivered over the course of 19 months, creating learning opportunities that combine instruction and practical application, distance education, international travel and dialogue with each other as well as with today’s business, government, industry and community leaders.  Graduates use their increased skills and knowledge of the entire agri-food system to work with others to lead, direct and manage change.  Alumni are recognized for their courage and confidence to move forward, building stronger agriculture and rural communities.

AALP is delivered by the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).  Established in 1984, AALP is an executive leadership and personal development program for men and women in all sectors of Ontario’s agriculture and food industry who aspire to help shape the future of Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and rural sectors.  98 percent of AALP graduates say that the program has made them better leaders.

With the deadline for applications in mid March, the next class begins in late September 2011 and participants will graduate in April 2013.

Vatican supports GM crops
In 2009 realized net farm* income fell 11.2 percent to $3.3 billion reported a resent Scientists have the right and a moral duty to be “stewards of God” by genetically modifying to help the world’s poor says advisors to the Vatican.

Leading members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences are noted as requesting a relaxation of “excessive, unscientific regulations” for approving GM crops suggesting these prevent new developments intended to serve the “public good.” The academy expressed provisional support for GM crops in 2000 but can now back the technology with more confidence.

Also in 2000, regulations on the movement of GM organisms between countries were defined. 

These have now been revised as the potential risks have not materialized, the regulations are considered out-of-date, and the costs associated discriminate against poor countries. 

The Vatican suggested that GM products will help raise the standards of living, health, and environments in vulnerable populations. They advised sceptics to consider the harm of withholding this technology from those who need it. •

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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.