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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 2018



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. •


All farmer-members are invited to attend Grain Farmers of Ontario’s 2018 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 11 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. A room block has been reserved under Grain Farmers of Ontario. Call 519 653-2690. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario is a silver sponsor of the 2018 International Plowing Match in Paincourt (Chatham-Kent) being held September 18 – 22. 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. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario will be at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show from September 11 – 13. 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 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 which began airing in late August, and for radio interviews on BX93. To learn more about the program visit fieldstoforks. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario is excited to share that our marquee speaker at the 2019 March Classic will be Rick Mercer.

Mercer will bring his blend of intelligent humour and satire to the day, discussing all the wonderful, weird, and unique things that make us Canadian. Join us as we celebrate Canada, what our country has to offer, our unsung heroes, and more.

Mercer takes a critical eye to the country he has traveled coast to coast to coast and offers insight into our past, present, and future as a world leading nation.

The 2019 March Classic takes place on Tuesday, March 19. Visit today to sign up for registration notifications and news. •


Last year, Grain Farmers of Ontario sent 20,000 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 by Christmas — the earliest in the school year for any offering of this program, even though we had twice as many kits as we had ever given out before.

What’s Growing ON? resource kits are back for the 2018-2019 school year. This year we will be providing 25,000 kits to Ontario classrooms. That means even more 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: teachers.

Encourage your child’s teacher to order a kit today! •


Grain Farmers of Ontario extended its appreciation for the efforts of Ernie Hardeman, the new Ontario minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, during the July Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers meeting.

Minister Hardeman represented the interests of grain farmers at the meeting with a special focus on business risk management and global trade issues and their impact on Ontario agriculture.

The FPT meeting included discussions on the current trade situation and the ministers also discussed risk management strategies for Canadian agriculture and are supportive of the recommendations to continue the BRM review and discussed the uncertainty for farmers as a result of global trade tensions. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario has partnered with the Ottawa Senators to share the Good in Every Grain with NHL hockey fans. The partnership includes promotions that will be ongoing throughout the season, such as rink boards, video promotions, and two Grain Farmers of Ontario Game Nights at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.

Grain Farmers of Ontario will also be very active with the @Senators on Twitter and Facebook with promotions for every game and monthly trivia contests. We are also participating in the “Breakfast with Sens” campaign designed to help educate children about the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. This event will take place in Ottawa for families and kids to visit the Canadian Tire Centre, eat breakfast with a few Senators players, and then have the opportunity to skate on the ice with the players. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario has urged the federal government to be more active in helping farmers maintain their businesses in the event of financial loss from trade disputes with the U.S. We have asked the federal government to establish contingency plans to reduce the impact of global trade tensions with the Ministers of Agriculture, Finance, and Trade. Currently, a $2 billion contingency fund exists, but it is allotted to Canada‘s steel, aluminum, and manufacturing sectors. The Canadian Agriculture Partnership has a $3 billion fund, but it is not provisioned to support farmers and the agriculture industry if there are major price shocks, or if there is a prolonged impact to agriculture as a result of trade issues.

Canadian farmers are already feeling the impact of the trade dispute in soybean prices, which are closely linked to U.S. prices and have fallen almost 20 per cent since April when China first announced a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. soybeans. •


by Philip Shaw
The trade war is taking its toll. With a 25% Chinese tariff applied to all U.S. soybeans imported into China, soybean prices retreated to nine year lows in July. In the July 12 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, USDA pegged new crop corn production to come in at 14.2 billion bushels. (174 bu./acre) The new crop soybean production was raised to 4.3 billion bushels on an increased yield of 48.5 bushels per acre. USDA actually reduced new crop soybean exports by 250 million bushels, reflecting the effect of Chinese soybean tariffs.

In Ontario, dry parched conditions in July were good for wheat harvest, but bad for row crops. The weather turned more wet heading into August, making wheat harvest more of a challenge. Harvest prices over $6 a bushel have been a bonus. •


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