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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 2017


Canadian Field Crop Cluster – request for letters of intent
The Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) has begun the development of a Canadian field crop research cluster as part of the next generation of research initiatives to be announced under the next Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). This process has been initiated with a request for letters of intent for research in the Canadian field crop cluster. 

Since 2013, the CFCRA has been managing a five-year, $10.3 million AgriScience cluster, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. This Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster focuses on providing Canadian corn and soybean growers, and eastern Canadian barley and oat growers with enhanced genetics for high-yielding, low input, disease-resistant varieties while addressing the needs of the market for value-added traits that deliver higher levels of nutrition and improved processing attributes.

While the existing cluster supports corn and soybean research nationally, and barley and oat for eastern Canada, a new Canadian field crop cluster would support research on corn, oat, and soybean nationally, and eastern Canadian barley.

Overall, research projects should have the goal of widespread use of final results for well-defined end users in Canada.

Interested researchers should submit completed letters of intent to Matthew Czerwinski via email to by January 8, 2017. For any questions about the letters of intent or cluster development process, please contact Matthew Czerwinski at or 519-767-0212.

Performance Trial results
Performance trial results for spring cereals, corn, and soybeans are now available online. For corn, a new two-year data set on intensive management is available. Producers interested in viewing the results can go to,, and

AALP Class 17 recruitment begins
The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) Class 17 recruitment has begun with the introduction of an online application form. Accessible until March 17, 2017, the application promises a streamlined process for those interested in applying for the 19-month leadership program.

The application form includes 27 questions, with both short and long-answer questions; it is anticipated that an applicant may fill out the form over a number of sessions. After a review of application materials in March, a selection committee will interview applicants in April at several locations throughout the province. Successful candidates are offered a position in AALP Class 17 in late June.

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, delivered by the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI), is one of the longest running and most successful leadership development programs. Established in 1984, the program is an executive development opportunity for men and women who want to shape the future of the agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario. To date, there are over 450 AALP graduates using their leadership skills in rural, agriculture and agri-food industries — provincially, nationally, and internationally.

During the 19-month program, AALP participants learn about leadership and organizational development theories and practices, government and political processes, economics, trade policy, global affairs, sector and industry related issues in Ontario and globally through North American and international study travel components. For more information visit

Neonicotinoid impact survey
Did you fill out your survey? All Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members are being asked to participate in a three-year study being conducted by BDO on the impact of the new neonicotinoid seed treatment regulations. Grain Farmers of Ontario wants to determine how these regulations have affected your ability to purchase seed, create a record of crop damage incurred from adhering to the regulations, and measure the increased expenses to farm operations from adhering to the regulations or using alternative products.

The survey was mailed to you with the December issue of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine. Please complete the survey and return it via the business reply envelope provided. You can also fill out the survey online at

Trade mission to China
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture, joined Soy Canada members, including Grain Farmers of Ontario, to help promote soybeans with leading Chinese import firms. The minister, who led a major mission to four Chinese cities at the end of November, spoke of the good relationship between our two countries and the commitment made recently by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to double trade over coming years. Soy Canada provided information to buyers on the quality and production of both food-grade and commodity soybeans and cemented valuable contacts.

2017 March Classic
The March Classic is the largest grain-focused conference in eastern Canada drawing upwards of 700 attendees from farms across Ontario, government, and industry.

Conference attendees will receive presentations from four world-class speakers, as well as updates from Grain Farmers of Ontario. Throughout the day, the exhibit hall hosts over 60 exhibits, including large machinery, as well as special benefits like book signings and meet-and-greets with speakers. Those who stay for the evening banquet will enjoy continued conversations while dining and being entertained by a top-notch performer.

The 2017 event will continue to build on the success of past conferences centred around the theme of ‘Leading through change’ with speakers focusing on communication, teamwork, and consumer confidence. Additional details about the speaker line-up can be found online at and clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

2017 Marketing seminars
Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members are invited to attend a full-day marketing seminar during the months of January and February. There will be two seminars offered: one will be a combined introductory futures and options seminar and the second one will focus on technical analysis.

Seminars will be led by Marty Hibbs, grain merchandiser with Grain Farmers of Ontario. Hibbs is a 25 year veteran futures trader, analyst, and portfolio manager. He was a regular guest analyst on BNN for four years and is currently authoring the Market Side education series on futures trading basics in the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine.

Futures & Options: learn to incorporate options into your marketing strategies
January 4:    Guelph
January 24:    Barrie

Technical Analysis: learn to trade the markets using charts and historical data
January 18:    New Liskeard
January 31:    Chatham
February 1:    Stratford
February 2:    London
    February 7:    Brantford
February 15:    Cornwall
    February 16:    Belleville

Pre-registration is required. No walk-ins will be permitted. To reserve a seat call Marty Hibbs 1-800-265-0550; email:; or go online at

Please note that the dates and locations are tentative and could change. Venue and start time details will be provided through an email with your registration confirmation.

Ontario ingredients for success
The Ontario Ingredients for Success campaign is an initiative of Gordon Food Service to make it easier to promote locally grown, raised, and processed ingredients for everyday eating in restaurants and foodservice institutions. It is a collaboration with six producer associations:  Egg Farmers of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Mushrooms Canada, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, and the Turkey Farmers of Ontario.

In fall 2016, the Ontario Ingredients for Success project was the recipient of a $60,000 investment from the Greenbelt Fund through the Local Food Investment Fund. Several Future of Local workshops have been held to bring together food service and industry operators. These workshops have included a wide range of speakers, including executive chefs, food service owners, culinary program chairs, and farmer associations. The participants have been able to share perspectives on what it means to source local and the opportunities and challenges behind doing this. Collaboration within the food industry and new technology being used by consumers has also been discussed. There has also been significant time spent by restaurant chain owners and food buyers to gain feedback on how to better communicate the local story.

Market Commentary
by Philip Shaw
The November United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report raised both corn and soybean production in the United States. U.S. corn is now projected to be 15.226 billion bushels with a yield of 175.3 bushels per acre. U.S. soybeans are projected at 4.36 billion bushels with yield projected at 52.5 bushels per acre. These are huge crops, which have negatively impacted futures prices into 2017. Remarkably, soybean futures are $2 higher than a year ago. 

In Ontario, corn basis has softened as the crop is much bigger than expected. The Canadian dollar continues to flutter in the 74/75 cent level supporting Ontario cash grain prices. This dollar weakness usually is inverse to a much stronger U.S. dollar. The new calendar year brings renewed hope for better prices.






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