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The Most Profitable Acre Challenge
Ontario corn and soybean farmers are invited to enter The Most Profitable Acre Challenge, a contest that tests business savvy, celebrates farmers who have implemented best business management practices, and encourages all farmers to evaluate the way they run their businesses to maximize efficiencies and profitability.
The Most Profitable Acre Challenge looks at farmer input costs, production practices, yield, sale prices, money management practices, and more to determine the corn or soybean farmer with the most profitable acre harvested in Ontario. The grand prize winner will be awarded their choice between one of four top prizes, including a trip for two to the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona! Prizes will also be awarded to second and third place winners.
For full contest details and to enter, visit www.takeanewapproach.ca/challenge. Contest registration closes November 23, 2014. The Most Profitable Acre Challenge is presented by the Agri-food Management Institute (formerly called the Agricultural Management Institute) and sponsored by Grain Farmers of Ontario. •
Wildlife Damage Update
For the past few years, Agricorp and Grain Farmers of Ontario have been working together to better understand the impact of wildlife damage. This work was in support of the Agriculture-Wildlife Conflict Working Group.
Initially, Agricorp compiled data from damage reports for Production Insurance and reported it to the working group. Typically, Agricorp receives fewer than 100 wildlife damage reports for corn annually, but in 2012 there was a spike because of communication efforts encouraging farmers to report all wildlife damage. This confirmed that producers are experiencing damage, but often do not report it. The number of damage reports is influenced by producer expectations of triggering a claim and whether they notice the damage before harvest.
In 2013, Agricorp and Grain Farmers of Ontario tested two different approaches for collecting data regarding the impact of wildlife damage. Through targeted field visits, Agricorp adjusters measured the damaged areas, estimated the yield impact, and asked producers to estimate the yield impact. They also asked about any disease impact and efforts to mitigate the damage. A web-based survey in the same area asked producers to report the same type of information.
Based on those who participated, it appears that an average producer experienced some form of wildlife damage on between 1.5% and 3.5% of their total corn acreage. The survey and field visits had similar average results, but the survey data was much more variable. This may not reflect all producers, given the small number of producers who participated. Moving forward, a broader survey may be a suitable way to assess the average impact of wildlife damage, although individual producers will have different experiences.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is continuing to work with Agricorp and the Agriculture-Wildlife Conflict Working Group to evaluate ways to determine the level of wildlife damage occurring in field crops in Ontario and how best to address the issue moving forward. •
Soybean Drying Charges
Soybean producers are reminded about the change made last year to the way drying charges are calculated under the Agreement for Marketing the Ontario Soybean Crop made under the Farm Products Marketing Act (O.Reg 485/09).
Soybean drying charges are no longer tied to the price of soybeans. Cleaning and handling charges, as well as soybean drying charges/moisture discounts, are agreed upon by the dealer and the producer through competitive market forces, similar to the corn and wheat markets.
Producers should confirm all terms and conditions before making their deliveries. •
Grain Farmers of Ontario Annual Report
If you were unable to make it to Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting at the beginning of September, the Annual Report is available online at www.gfo.ca or by calling the office at 1-800-265-0550 and requesting a copy be mailed to you. The financial statements are included within the pages of the GFO Newsletter in the paper copy of the magazine for your convenience. •
Annual District Meetings
Grain Farmers of Ontario is beginning to plan for the 2015 January District Grain Committee Meetings. Be sure to check our website, www.gfo.ca, for updates to the date and location of your district’s meeting. Details will also be published in the GFO Newsletter of upcoming issues of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine as they are finalized.
The Annual District Meetings are called to elect voting delegates and directors for the coming year. Updates on the organization and grain industry issues are also provided at these meetings. All corn, soybean, and wheat producers are welcome and encouraged to attend. •
by Philip Shaw
As we move into late September and October, grain markets are looking at early harvest progress as well as the threat of frost to more northern areas of the U.S. corn belt. The August USDA report pegged U.S. corn yield at 167.4 bushels per acre and soybeans at 45.4 bushels per acre. The September report (released after this publication has gone to press) will likely increase these estimates.
In Ontario, old crop corn basis has risen sharply as end users import corn from Michigan. There is a huge opportunity for new crop prices for early harvest, as the late maturing Ontario corn crop eyes a strong basis. Canadian dollar volatility remains key. •