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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 September 2017



Grain Farmers of Ontario will be at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show from September 12 – 14. You can find us on 1st Lane (Seed Alley). Stop in for a coffee and a chat with a staff member or director. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario is a bronze sponsor of the 2017 International Plowing Match in Walton being held September 19 – 23. We will once again be sponsoring the VIP tent and plowing match.

The Growing Connections trailer exhibit will be on display to showcase the Good in Every Grain and the Grain Farmers of Ontario Tech Park will be onsite to highlight the technology that farmers are using in their fields. Roberts Farm Equipment is providing a modern combine and sprayer and Grain Farmers of Ontario staff will be flying a drone to show politicians, students, and the public the innovative tools farmers are using to advance grain farming across Ontario. •


All farmer-members are invited to attend Grain Farmers of Ontario’s 2017 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at the Quality Hotel & Suites in Woodstock. The business portion of the meeting will be held in the morning and all attendees will be given passes to attend Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in the afternoon.

Quality Hotel & Suites
Vansittart Room
580 Bruin Blvd, Woodstock, ON N4V 1E5

8 a.m. Registration and breakfast
9 a.m. Chairman’s report, CEO report, Resolutions, Questions
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

Four Points by Sheraton Cambridge. Room block pricing has closed. Please contact to see if rooms are still available at their regular rate. 519-653-2690. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario launched a public service announcement (PSA) in February, called “Farmed by Families” that features families across the province who farm barley, corn, oats, soybeans, and wheat. Viewers learn of the variety of grains that go into their food, furniture, and fuel and the great families that make that possible.

This PSA aired for six months and was picked up over 725 times with strong performance in Peterborough and Toronto. If you would like to see the PSA, visit Grain Farmers of Ontario on YouTube and select the “Farmed by Families” video. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased to be part of Bell Media’s Fields to Forks program again this year. Fields to Forks works to raise awareness about agriculture in Ontario. Partners in the program will help expose urban audiences to what it means to work in agriculture, and how farmers positively impact business and the environment. This project provides an inside look at Ontario’s grain farmers and their families. This is also an opportunity to tell the story of Ontario grains, from the farm to their end uses in products used globally.

Grain Farmers of Ontario content will be shared on CTV London news and commercials, and Today’s Country BX93 radio and online. The Fields to Forks microsite hosts information on sponsor’s stories, food literacy, and recipes. Watch for the TV spot to begin airing in late August, and for radio interviews on BX93 on August 31, September 14 and September 28. To learn more about the program visit •


Grain Farmers of Ontario commends the federal, provincial, and territorial agricultural leaders across Canada for supporting business risk management reform.

The announcement of a comprehensive review of the current suite of business risk management programs, made at the end of July, is welcomed by Ontario’s grain farmers. The initiative was supported by agricultural ministers across the country at the Federal-Provincial-Territorial meetings held in Newfoundland.

“We thank Minister Leal for championing this issue,” says Mark Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Reliable risk management programs are not just about disaster relief — having appropriate tools to manage risk enables farmers to invest in innovations on the farm benefiting the economy, environment, and our province as a whole.”

With the announcement also came unexpected news of reductions to AgriInvest. The changes made to AgriInvest were a unilateral decision made by the federal government.

“The cuts to AgriInvest underline the critical need for ongoing collaboration between policy-makers and agricultural organizations,” says Brock. “With the exception of Crop Insurance, AgriInvest is the only program within the suite of risk management programs that works well for our farmer-members and we hope for much more appropriate and effective steps forward through this review process.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario is disappointed that the federal government has adjusted this important program, ahead of the comprehensive review of the whole suite of programs. As the review process moves forward, it is critical that effective programs, like AgriInvest, do not suffer. Options coming out of the review are scheduled to be presented in July 2018. •


by Philip Shaw
On July 12, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) weighed in with their latest estimates of U.S. crop production. In the report, the USDA increased U.S. corn production at 14.255 billion bushels with the U.S. national yield sustained at 170.7 bushels per acre. At the same time, the USDA increased soybean production to 4.26 billion bushels. This was based on a five million bushel increase based on expected harvested area at 48 bushels/acre.

Crops are variable across Ontario. Currently, it looks like Ontario corn yield will not reach 2016 levels. The Canadian dollar has recently been over the 80 cent level, further pressuring basis levels in Ontario. •


Last year, Grain Farmers of Ontario sent 10,000 free What’s Growing ON? resource kits to Grade 3 classrooms across the province. The kits’ popularity has grown tremendously in recent years, and the kits for the 2016-2017 school year ran out in early February — by far, the earliest in the school year for any offering of this program.

What’s Growing ON? resource kits are back for the 2017-2018 school year with a twist — to keep up with growing demand, we will be providing twice as many kits to Ontario classrooms this year. That means twice as many Grade 3 students from cities and towns across the province will see first-hand how plants grow from seed, learn what a modern farm looks like, and interact with agriculture in a way they otherwise don’t have the opportunity to.

The What’s Growing ON? resource kit includes all of the materials necessary to complete lessons and activities designed to help Ontario school children and their families understand the role grains play in the lives of Ontarians. This resource kit is designed for Grade 3 students. The free package includes a teacher’s resource kit and parent guides including at-home activities, along with enough planting cups, soil wafers, and seeds for the whole class.

Resource kits for the 2017-2018 school year are now available to order at Encourage your child’s teacher to order a kit today!


Grain Farmers Of Ontario’s Annual Report is available online at or by calling the office at 1-800-265-0550 and requesting a copy be mailed to you.

The financial statements are included in the report and these should be reviewed ahead of your attendance at the Annual General Meeting so that you can ask any questions that you may have. The report also contains information about the activities of the organization during the last fiscal year. •


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