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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Kurtis Peeters, an organic corn grower from Kawartha Lakes is the winner of the Most Profitable Acre Challenge, a competition organized by the Agri-food Management Institute and presented in partnership with Grain Farmers of Ontario. The business skills competition looks at input costs, production practices, yield, marketing tactics, and business management practices to determine the farmer with the most profitable acre harvested in corn or soybean production in Ontario.
“The difference between a successful farmer and his polar opposite is almost always the way the farmer manages his business,” says Peeters. “Rarely are luck and chance to blame for a profitable farmer, though you could probably say winning this competition was chance.”
Partly attributing his success to high organic crop prices in 2014, Peeters says knowing his cost of production and utilizing best business management techniques has influenced his bottom line year after year. To expedite efficiency and profitability, Peeters tracks his input costs, has a written marketing plan, is a member of a business management club, has a written business plan, and sees a farm advisor on a regular basis.
“It definitely takes some last minute decision making out of the picture, which means less stress,” says Peeters, 26. “Plans and goals are essential to profitability.”
Mathieu Lauzon, an organic soybean grower from North Glengarry, placed second in the Most Profitable Acre Challenge, and Jim Denys, an IP soybean grower from Huron County, placed third. Nineteen farmers entered the competition.
To participate, farmers had to provide information regarding field size and location, certification of yield, hybrid/ variety used and cost, crop protection regime and costs, tillage practices, fertilizer program and costs, and any custom application and scouting costs, as well as any relevant business management activities. The winners received their awards at the Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic in London, Ontario on March 24.
IGPC RECEIVES GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT
The Government of Canada is making an investment of $3.7 million to help Integrated Grain Processors Cooperative (IGPC) Ethanol Inc. install Canada’s first Fiber Separation Technology™ (FST) system to help boost production through operational efficiencies.
This investment will enable IGPC Ethanol to have a higher output of ethanol, corn oil, and dried distillers’ grains, develop new higher value animal feed products, and lower the plant’s energy consumption. The introduction of FST at the IGPC plant allows for the early separation of fibre from corn prior to its fermentation, increasing the efficiency of the distillation process, and producing a cleaner fibre product.
“Funding such as this shows the government’s commitment to innovation in agriculture, including renewable fuels production. This investment will help us bring new technology to our Aylmer facility, allowing us to greatly improve the efficiency of our plant, while laying the foundation for further investment in new technologies and new products,” says Jim Grey, CEO of IGPC Ethanol.
This investment will enable IGPC Ethanol to purchase approximately 18 million bushels (up from 16 million currently) of grain corn from local farmers for use as feedstock.
ONTARIO AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME
The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame will be inducting seven leaders into the Hall of Fame Gallery this June. These inductees have demonstrated visionary leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the advancement of agriculture in Ontario and have left a lasting legacy. The inductees are:
- Dr. Murray Brown – developer of the crop heat unit system (sponsored by Dr. Clayton Switzer)
- Russel Hume Dow – sheep marketing pioneer (sponsored by the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency)
- Hon. Fletcher S. Thomas – minister of agriculture from 1953 – 1956 (sponsored by the Hon. Stephen Peters)
- Peter Hannam – pivotal player in the expansion of Ontario’s soybean acreage (sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture)
- Peter Martin Lindley – farmer and former president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) (sponsored by OAC ’57 and the OFVGA)
- Donald Wilbert Lobb – visionary in the establishment of soil conservation practices and improved water quality (sponsored by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association)
- Earl Leonard Wagner – promoter of sustainable agriculture and general manager of the Hensall District Co-operative (sponsored by the Hensall District Co-operative Inc and Sylvite). •