GET THE LATEST NEWS FROM GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO
AGRONOMY RESEARCH INSERT
On the opposite page you will find the latest update on research being funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario. The projects highlighted in this insert relate to agronomy — one of four research priority areas. Project updates include results which can be applied on-farm.
Over the next few months, we will provide you additional updates on our investments into the priority research areas of Insects and Diseases, Crop Utilization and Quality, and Breeding and Genetics.
More information on research being supported by Grain Farmers of Ontario can be found online at www.gfo.ca/Research, including an electronic version of previous research inserts. •
ON THE ROAD
Grain Farmers of Ontario had a busy month on the road in March. In addition to the March Classic, staff and directors met with farmers at the London Farm Show (March 5-7) and the Ottawa Valley Farm Show (March 11-13). Our booth at both events was a great place to connect with farmer-members and discuss issues and concerns about the upcoming growing season. Representatives from Grain Farmers of Ontario also attended the Commodity Classic in Texas to meet with and learn from our American counterparts in the grain industry and discuss regulatory issues and international trade. •
Grain Farmers of Ontario is sponsoring a 2015 Nuffield Scholarship for an Ontario farmer or grain industry representative. The recipient will receive $15,000 to support their travel and will be expected to explore an area of study that will provide direct benefit back to the grain industry.
The Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship Program develops leaders that are often at the forefront of the agricultural industry. The scholarship process accelerates skills and leadership abilities, and increases the scope of a scholar’s potential impact on both their own business and their sector as a whole. The program involves 10 weeks of international study, six of which need to be completed consecutively. The scholarship recipient will have two years to complete the program.
Applications for the Grain Farmers of Ontario Nuffield Scholarship must be submitted to Nuffield Canada by April 30, 2015. More information and an application form can be found online at www.nuffield.ca. •
BILL C-18 RECEIVES ROYAL ASSENT
Bill C-18, An Act to Amend Certain Acts Relating to Agriculture and Agri-Food (the Canadian Agricultural Growth Act), received Royal Assent at the end of February. The bill contains amendments to Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Act which will modernize the Act and harmonize it with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV ’91).
For both public and private sector plant breeders, these amendments provide the safeguards needed to support the development of new seed varieties for our environment and ensure they are able to see a return on their invested research dollars. Farmers will benefit from greater access to new crop varieties developed in Canada and internationally and expanded global market opportunities.
Grain Farmers of Ontario sees this as a strong step to continued and improved access to research and innovation for Ontario grain crops. It helps us, as farmers, ensure we can continue to feed and fuel the world and we look forward to working with the government as this bill is implemented. •
by Philip Shaw
Commodity markets have given back some of their gains going into mid-March. A nation-wide truckers strike in Brazil caused widespread roadblocks throughout the country, impeding soybean harvests and shipments. The issue was over high fuel costs, and although it didn’t affect futures greatly, delays in many shipments out of Brazil to China did occur. The South American crop is more than 50% harvested as of March 9 and is keeping a cap on any short term rise in soybean prices.
Currency markets are also impacting the grain market. The U.S. dollar is at an 11 year high as of mid-March — acting as a brake on commodity prices. The loonie continues to wobble under the 80 cent level U.S., boosting cash prices and cushioning the drop in grain futures prices. •