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Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

GFO Newsletter for January 2015


Grain farming under attack by government
Grain Farmers of Ontario believes new pesticide regulations announced by the Ontario government at the end of November are impractical and unrealistic. The government plans to reduce neonicotinoid use by 80% by 2017.


Grain Farmers of Ontario believes a reduction at this level puts our farmers at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the country and the rest of the North America. It will mean smaller margins for grain farmers and could signal the transition away from family farms to large multi-national farming operations that can sustain lower margins. A restriction at the 80% level is comparable to a total ban on the product, which the Conference Board of Canada estimates will cost Ontario farmers more than $630 million annually in lost revenue.

This announcement flies in the face of numerous efforts and investments made by grain farmers across the province over the past two years to mitigate risks to bee health. Grain Farmers of Ontario has invested in ongoing multi-year research projects to mitigate risks to bee health associated with neonicotinoids.  Learn more at

Change to RMP enrollment criteria
Leaders of the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Coalition (OASC) welcomed the announcement regarding the removal of mandatory AgriStability participation from the enrollment criteria for the provincial Risk Management Program (RMP).

In the fall of 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne tasked the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food and senior ministry staff to work collaboratively with OASC leaders to review the RMP program and ensure the existing program and its funds were best serving farmers.

After a year of working with senior Ministry officials, a detailed analysis, measured against clear criteria led OASC to conclude that the current RMP program is far superior to any of the other alternatives with respect to assisting job creation, bankability, and predictability. Through that review, it also became clear the mandatory requirement that all RMP participants also enroll in the federal AgriStability program was doing more harm than good given cuts to the AgriStability program and other challenges with the way AgriStability is currently operating.

The provincial government and farmers have worked well together in the creation of RMP and must continue to do so in order to convince the federal government to fix their broken safety net programs and work together in the interest of all of Canada’s rural and urban economies.

Best of CAMA
Grain Farmers of Ontario is proud to represent the province’s 28,000 corn, soybean, and wheat farmers and we are honoured that our efforts in communication and market development have been recognized by our peers within the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

The Best of CAMA gala was held in Ottawa in November to celebrate agriculture and a variety of marketing campaigns. Grain Farmers of Ontario was pleased to receive the ‘Exhibits or Displays’ award for our Growing Connections trailer. This also won the ‘Best of Show – Public Relations Programs’ award.

The Protecting Pollinators campaign, which included a combination of printed and web based communication initiatives, was the winner of the ‘Crisis communications, issues management’ category. Grain Farmers of Ontario was also the recipient of a Certificate of Merit for the Canadian Soybean Dispatch within the ‘Advertising produced in Canada for a Foreign Market’ category.

Congratulations to all the Best of CAMA winners!

Market Commentary
by Philip Shaw
In their November report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) decreased their corn yield estimate to 14.4 billion bushels with an average yield of 173.4 bushels per acre.  Corn ending stocks were increased to 2.008 billion bushels. In the same report, the U.S. soybean crop was increased to 3.958 billion bushel with average yield increased to 47.5 bushels per acre.  The corn yield estimate was somewhat of a surprise, creating some drama for the final USDA estimate expected on January 12, 2015.

The market news in Ontario has been the late harvest, quality, and yield of the Ontario corn crop. This has boosted basis values at harvest to levels not seen since 1992. The Canadian dollar is in the 87 cent U.S. range helping to boost these basis values.



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