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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 April/May 2016


Grain Farmers of Ontario is spearheading a new coalition, named Growing Ontario, with the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association.

The coalition recently submitted a response to comments made by Dr. Dianne Saxe, the new Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, regarding the road tax exemption for farm vehicles and other equipment that does not operate on the province’s public roads.

Growing Ontario is calling on the province’s legislative assembly to re-affirm their support for the road tax exemption, which Dr. Saxe has erroneously suggested amounts to a “subsidy” of $215 million dollars per year.

You can find out more about the Growing Ontario initiative on page 23 of this magazine.

Grain Farmers of Ontario has already responded publicly to the comments made by Dr. Saxe. You can read Grain Farmers of Ontario Chair Mark Brock’s letter to the Environmental Commissioner here: Home/Post/1326.

A change in Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) legislation last year may have an impact on your farm this year. It’s imperative that farmers understand how Canada’s adoption of UPOV 91 in regards to PBR may impact their responsibility upon sale of harvested grain.

The Canadian Seed Trade Association recently launched a new database to assist in easily identifying PBR protection on crop varieties registered for sale in Canada. Farmers are encouraged to use the database to understand what varieties currently fall under the new regulations associated with UPOV 91. Find it at:

For more information on UPOV 91 please visit

Grain Farmers of Ontario chair Mark Brock and manager of market development, Nicole Mackellar, joined the recent 2016 Soy Canada trade mission to South Korea and Japan. Delegates from across the Canadian soybean industry attended meetings with a number of soy food associations and government agencies in both countries, as well as a soybean industry seminar in Japan.

In South Korea, participants learned about the government’s tender process for securing imported soybeans and the volume opportunities available for Canada. South Korea is a new market for Canadian soybeans, with duty free access only becoming available after the signing of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. To date, Canada has exported around 10,000 metric tonnes per year of food grade, non-GM soybeans to that market.

Japan continues to be the largest market for Canadian and Ontario food grade, non-GM soybeans, with over 300,000 metric tonnes exported each year. The Canadian delegation learned about Japan’s changing demographics and a recent shift in taste profiles that has resulted in a decline in soy food consumption. To wrap up the mission, Brock gave a presentation on Ontario farmers’ commitment to environmental sustainability at the Canadian soybean industry seminar, held in Tokyo, Japan.

Grain Farmers of Ontario’s annual young leader program, Grains in Action, took place February 1-4. For 2016, there were 26 participants who completed the program. The week included tours of the IGPC ethanol plant, the Cargill grain terminal, the ADM crush plant, P&H milling, and the Hiram Walker distillery, as well as presentations from Grain Farmers of Ontario staff and representatives from Spirits Canada, Agricorp, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Canadian Grain Commission.

You can see photos from the event on Twitter by searching for tweets with the hashtag #GrainsinAction. Two participants were also featured on radio stations during the program: Jeff Huston on CKXS, and Natalie Walt on CKNX. Congratulations to all of our participants! 

The February United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report added to the bearish tone in grain markets. The USDA increased Brazil and Argentinian projected corn production to 84 MMT and 27 MMT respectively. USDA set Brazilian soybean production to come in at 100 MMT, while boosting Argentinian production to 58.5 MMT. In the U.S., corn ending stocks were boosted to 1.837 billion bushels with soybean stocks lifted to 450 million bushels. These bearish numbers forced grain futures prices sideways and down through late February and early March.

After reaching a low of .6808 U.S. on January 20, the Canadian dollar has risen sharply topping out at .7510 on March 4. This has had a largely negative effect on cash grain values across Ontario leading to lower cash prices.


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