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Annual District meetings
Thank you to all our farmer-members who attended Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Annual District Meetings in January. These meetings are called to receive reports and elect the District Voting Delegates and Directors. You can view an updated listing of Delegates and Directors online. A complete listing will also be published in the GFO Newsletter of the March issue of Ontario Grain Farmer magazine.
The meetings also provided an opportunity to discuss our future. Grain Farmers of Ontario, with the help of MNP, has created several future scenarios that explore different drivers of change grain farmers could be dealing with over the next few decades. If you were unable to attend a January meeting, you can still participate in our discussion by completing an on-line survey using the password “future”. You can also call our office at 800-265-0550 and request a copy be mailed to you. Your input will help us refine the scenarios we’ve created and help us better prepare for a successful future. •
Investment in research
The federal government is making new investments in research lead by Grain Farmers of Ontario. The Honourable Michael Chong, Member of Parliament (Wellington—Halton Hills), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, recently announced an investment for Grain Farmers of Ontario that will help producers increase their yields of corn, soybean, and wheat through improved soil health, better pest management, and enhanced disease resistance.
The investment of more than $850,000 will help Grain Farmers of Ontario lead seven projects that focus on helping grain producers find new pest management solutions and take advantage of proven soil management practices that could increase their yields and make their crops more sustainable. This investment will also help producers develop new seed varieties with improved disease resistance and higher protein content.
Farmer-members will receive direct benefit from this investment. The projects funded will provide the industry with key information for long-term success and address real on-farm issues. One of the projects is studying the soil system of a farm in Dunnville, Ontario, where a farmer has developed a cropping system that is yielding an average of over 275 bushels of corn per acre – his story is featured in this issue of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine on page 6. Another project explores the relationship between insect damage and fungal toxin accumulation in grain corn. The ability to better understand and manage this relationship will result in safer end products for human and livestock consumption.
The investment is provided through CAAP, a five-year (2009–14), $163- million initiative that helps the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Ontario, the regional component of CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). •
Promoting soybean exports
In January, representatives of Grain Farmers of Ontario participated in a marketing mission to Japan and Taiwan. As a member of the Canadian Soybean Council (CSC), Grain Farmers of Ontario actively promotes Canadian soybeans in key export markets such as Asia and Europe. Japan is our largest market for food-grade soybeans; the country imports 330,000 tonnes every year, valued on average at nearly $225 million. But there is room for growth.
The January mission focused on sharing Canada’s commitment to soybean research to ensure we continue to deliver a high quality product to our customers. The Canadian Soybean Dispatch is a yearly booklet published in English and Japanese to help with this marketing effort. The newly completed 2012 Dispatch highlights the safety and traceability of Canadian soybeans, profiles our industry from researcher to producer to exporter, and provides the latest production and yield information.
The Canadian Soybean Dispatch will also be distributed to all past participants of CSC Canadian tours, as well as all past participants of our seminars during previous marketing missions. Trade Officers and Trade Commissioners in Canada’s key export regions will also receive copies of the Dispatch to share with customers. •