GFO Newsletter for June/July 2016

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REPRESENTATIVES ATTEND SAI GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN IRELAND
Grain Farmers of Ontario District 4 director Dave McEachren and Mike Buttenham, sustainability and environment coordinator, attended the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Seminar and General Assembly in Dublin, Ireland.  SAI is the main food and drink industry initiative supporting the development of sustainable agriculture throughout all aspects of the supply chain.

The four day conference brought together representatives from some of the leading end users (Coca Cola, Mondelez, Heineken), suppliers (Cargill, Louis Dreyfus), and farm associations to discuss sustainable agriculture. Grain Farmers of Ontario had the opportunity to present a farm-level perspective of our sustainability initiatives and how organizations throughout the supply chain can engage with farmers.
research insert
On the opposite page you will find the latest update on research being funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario. This insert highlights research being done under the priority area of Insects and Diseases and, where possible, features results that are applicable on-farm. For more information on research being supported by Grain Farmers of Ontario go to: www.gfo.ca/ research. •

NEONIC REGULATION APPEAL DENIED
Grain Farmers of Ontario is extremely disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeal of Ontario which denied the request for appeal on the dismissal of the case surrounding the Ontario government’s seed treatment regulations. The ruling was released in mid-April.

“The decision is both frustrating and disheartening for myself, our farmer-members, and the grain industry,” says Mark Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “While the result is not what we hoped for, the judgement acknowledged that farmer rights have been negatively affected by this regulation and that it does create legitimate hardships on grain farmers in this province.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario defended its farmer-members’ rights to the highest court possible within the province and the judgement recognizes that there is no legal remedy for regulatory decisions, such as this one, made by government.

The seed treatment regulation, and the precedent it sets for regulating farm inputs, has a significant and detrimental impact on agriculture in Ontario. While the Grain Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors will have further discussion regarding an appeal, it has decided to immediately engage BDO to conduct an audit of the impact of these regulations on Ontario’s grain farmers.

“To ensure the government truly understands how decisions like this impact our businesses, and with the goal of improving how agricultural policy is formed in the future, we are commissioning this audit and we will regularly inform the government of findings throughout this study,” says Brock. “This issue remains a top priority for Grain Farmers of Ontario and we will continue to engage government on this topic today and into the future.”

Share your experience, challenge, and pest photos with Grain Farmers of Ontario using #grainbugs or by emailing mmackimmie@gfo.ca. These insights will assist BDO in establishing a full picture of farming under this new regime. •

MARCH CLASSIC RECAP
The annual Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic conference was held at the London Convention Centre on Tuesday, March 22.

The Hon. Jean Charest, former minister of the environment, minister of industry, and deputy prime minister of Canada began the day with his talk Change, Trends, and Canada, a holistic overview of world trends that will affect how Canadian farmers do their business. Charest urged Canadians to diversify trade and invest in natural energy resources in an effort to position our country as “a major hub for free trade, global markets, investment and mobility of labour”.

Yvette d’Entremont, better known as blogger and anti-pseudoscience crusader SciBabe, also spoke in the morning, presenting her Ten Rules to Bust Food Myths, which you can read more about in this issue of Ontario Grain Farmer.

After lunch, Andrew Ramlo, executive director of Urban Futures Incorporated and director of Urban Futures Institute, presented his approach to consumer market analysis: Changing People, Changing Places. Ramlo shared four general conclusions about our future:
1.    The demographic and economic changes we will experience in the coming decades will not be simple extensions of past trends;
2.    Workers and work (labour force & economy) have enjoyed a blessed time over the past four decades;
3.    No single approach will be sufficient to address the diversity of challenges and opportunities that will arrive;
4.    All cities, all sectors, all businesses Canada-wide will have to manage a future that is much different from what we have become accustomed to.”

Wrapping up the afternoon event was Manjit Minhas, co-founder and co-owner of Minhas Brewery and one of the stars of CBC’s Dragon’s Den. Minhas shared some of her experiences and lessons from 15 years in the brewing business, from answering phones at her father’s liquor store as a teenager to founding a major brewing company, to her company’s ill-fated first attempt to break into the complicated and overprotective Ontario market.

Video of March Classic 2016 speakers is also available on Grain Farmers of Ontario’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/ grainfarmersontario. •

JOIN GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO NEAR PARLIAMENT HILL ON CANADA DAY
This Canada Day, celebrate the Good in Every Grain with Grain Farmers of Ontario delegates and staff in Ottawa, as the Growing Connections trailer returns to Major’s Hill Park in the centre of Ottawa for Canada’s biggest birthday party.

We look forward to this event every year, as it represents a unique opportunity to meet thousands of Ontarians and Canadians travelling to the capitol to celebrate. •

ASA DUPONT YOUNG LEADER PROGRAM
Grain Farmers of Ontario is looking for soybean growers interested in becoming a leader within the agricultural industry. The American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leader program focuses on developing leadership, strengthening marketing and media skills, and learning more about the soy industry. It is also an excellent opportunity to network with other farmers from the ASA’s 26 state affiliates. For the 2017 program, participants will attend two sessions — one at Pioneer’s Iowa headquarters in late fall 2016, and the second during the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

The application process for the ASA DuPont Young Leader program is expected to open in June. If you would like to participate, fill out the online application at www.soygrowers.com.  A Grain Farmers of Ontario selection committee will evaluate the applicants from Ontario and choose one couple or individual for the 2017 program.

To learn more about the ASA DuPont Young Leader program, read about the experiences of Jeff and Dianne Barlow, the 2016 participants, online at www.ontariograinfarmer.ca.  You can also contact Steve McCabe, manager, member relations, Grain Farmers of Ontario at smccabe@gfo.ca or 519-767-9713.
market commentary
by Philip Shaw
Grain futures prices have been buoyant going into mid-May, 2016, even though their fundamentals are very bearish. Soybean futures prices have been leading the way with the nearby futures gaining $1.70 since March 2. There have been weather related problems with corn in Brazil and a wet Argentine harvest. It is a volatile time, with the North American planting season going full strength.

These futures prices increased at a time when United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in their April report raised grain stocks. USDA increased corn ending stocks 25 million bushels at 1.862 billion bushels. The soybean stocks were 445 million bushels. Interestingly enough, these futures price have been mitigated to some extent by a Canadian dollar valued at .7733 on May 8 after reaching 80 cents briefly the week before. •

MARKET COMMENTARY
by Philip Shaw
Grain futures prices have been buoyant going into mid-May, 2016, even though their fundamentals are very bearish. Soybean futures prices have been leading the way with the nearby futures gaining $1.70 since March 2. There have been weather related problems with corn in Brazil and a wet Argentine harvest. It is a volatile time, with the North American planting season going full strength.

These futures prices increased at a time when United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in their April report raised grain stocks. USDA increased corn ending stocks 25 million bushels at 1.862 billion bushels. The soybean stocks were 445 million bushels. Interestingly enough, these futures price have been mitigated to some extent by a Canadian dollar valued at .7733 on May 8 after reaching 80 cents briefly the week before. •

 

About Ontario Grain Farmer 362 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.