PROPOSED TAX CHANGES IMPEDE GROWTH
Grain Farmers of Ontario is raising farmers’ concerns about the proposed tax changes to private corporations. While the government’s concerns appear to be focused on professional corporations, the proposed legislation encompasses all small business corporations, including family farm corporations. The impact of these changes would impede growth in the agricultural sector — an industry identified by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth (Dominic Barton) as a key sector for Canada to invest in and grow.
The time frame for implementation of these changes poses significant challenges for farms that are currently in the process of transferring farm businesses. For these farmers, critical decisions and business transformations will need to be completed before the end of this year in order to access the proposed one-time capital gains exemption in 2018.
Grain Farmers of Ontario has joined the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness and is requesting that the government take the time to work with industry to address any shortcomings in the tax policy affecting private corporations and consider the implications to agriculture and farmers before implementing the largest tax changes in 30 years. •
ANNUAL DISTRICT MEETINGS
Grain Farmers of Ontario is beginning to plan for the 2017 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 in 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 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat producers are welcome and encouraged to attend. •
GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO ANNUAL REPORT
If you were unable to make it to Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting in 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 following pages of this GFO Newsletter for your convenience. •
The Ontario Cereal Crops Committee (OCCC) is pleased to announce the launch of the new and improved GoCereals.ca website. Visitors to the website will enjoy the updated modern design and functionality, including a twitter feed showcasing tweets related to cereal varieties and production. The site is also mobile friendly, for use on SmartPhones and tablets.
The relaunched site retains all the information and features previously available but within a more user-friendly interface and with improved navigation. By simply clicking tabs, users can directly access information about the committee, performance trials (past and present), and links to other resources, news, and events. In addition, the site offers an enhanced tool for head-to-head variety comparisons. The OCCC expects the modernized website will better serve grain farmers. •
ONTARIO WHEAT HARVEST SURVEY
Grain Farmers of Ontario’s annual Wheat Harvest Survey results are available online at http://gfo.ca/Production/Ontario-Wheat-Quality. Information on the 2017 crop will be updated as more results become available. This year, 320 samples were collected from 17 locations in Ontario, including eastern and northern parts of the province. This is the largest number of samples collected for the Wheat Harvest Survey since Grain Farmers of Ontario took over the project.
All grading and analysis are conducted by the Grains Analytical Testing Laboratory. Grain Farmers of Ontario partnered with SGS Canada, Inc. on the development of the Grains Analytical Testing Laboratory which opened in 2016. •
NEW DIGITAL INSPECTION OF SOIL FORM
The new digital Inspection of Soil — Pest Assessment Report (PAR) form is now available as part of the process of purchasing Class 12 pesticides. The form includes an online mapping tool for the required sketch of each application area at each farm property at which a Class 12 pesticide is intended to be used.
The form can be used by a Professional Pest Advisor (PPA) or an Integrated Pest Management (IPM)-certified person to prepare a pest assessment report for a purchaser of Class 12 pesticides; or a PPA or an IPM-certified person who is also the person with the authority (either owner/operator or representative) to submit the PAR to a vendor for the purchase of Class 12 pesticides to the agricultural operation set out in the form.
Growers are required to provide a PAR form, along with other documents, for the purchase of Class 12 pesticides. The hard copy version of the PDF PAR form also continues to be available online for download and printing on the Ontario Central Forms Repository website.
Additional information on neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed requirements and best management practices for reducing risks to pollinators is available at: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/pollinator/info-crops.htm. •
by Philip Shaw
Despite the uneven growing season in the U.S., this U.S. crop is huge. On August 10, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered their projected corn yield estimate to 169.5 bushels per acre — down from their earlier projection of 170.7 bushels per acre and less than last year’s 174.6 bushels per acre. At the same time, the USDA raised soybean yield expectations to 49.4 bushels per acre up from their 48 bushels per acre earlier estimate. This pegged 2017/18 soybean production at 4.4 billion bushels. Grain futures continue to drift sideways and downward.
The Canadian dollar’s rise to 82.48 cents on September 11 has been meteoric from its low of 72 cents US on May 2. This has lowered cash prices across Ontario. Higher interest rates and a lower U.S. dollar continue to stimulate the loonie. •