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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. 

GrainTALK for December 2018


A Q&A with Grain Farmers of Ontario chair, Markus Haerle.

Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario

2018 has been a very active year politically and we have faced several agronomic challenges. What have your experiences been as the new Chair for Grain Farmers of Ontario?

A. When I was elected in February, I had no idea that we were headed into this roller coaster of a year. Our farmer-members have weathered trade issues, new governments, and the weather itself. The planting and harvest seasons were very challenging throughout the province. Grain farmers handled it well, but the unstable weather and the unstable grain economy put a lot of pressure on them.

2018 has been a year of many issues — some of them are old ones rearing their heads again, including Vomitoxin, glyphosate, and neonicotinoids, while some are new such as the impact of the U.S. trade war with China and other countries across the globe, and the battles between our provincial and federal governments.

I am pleased that we made very quick, important in-roads with the PC government and had our voice heard before the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers meeting through discussions with Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. I was able to take part in discussions with international oilseeds producers to further our presence globally. And we joined Grain Growers of Canada to help give our members a national voice in Ottawa on key issues.

As we wrap up 2018 and head into 2019, I hope to see continued growth for our farmer-members and a safe and healthy new year for everyone and their families. •

Do you have a question for our chair? Email


Grain Farmers of Ontario has announced eight new research projects funded in partnership with the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (the Partnership).

Grain Farmers of Ontario addresses the research needs of grain farmers by investing in four priority areas: Agronomy and Production, Weed, Disease, and Insect Pests, Crop Utilization and Crop Quality, and Breeding and Genetics. The eight projects funded through the Partnership cover these priorities and 2018 areas of interest in herbicide-resistant weed management, disease management, and soil health. These projects also continue to support long-term tillage trials that will demonstrate cropping systems for farmer-members.

The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

These new research projects will be profiled in the GrainTALK e-newsletter, go to to subscribe. To learn more about all research projects funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario, visit the research project database at •


Have you completed your survey yet? Grain Farmers of Ontario mailed out the 2018 Farmer-member Survey with the September magazine and posted it online at Farmer-members are encouraged to provide their feedback by December 31, 2018 to be entered into a draw for one of three Carrhart jackets. If you fill out your survey online, you will also be eligible for 10 additional prizes. •


In 2019, there are more mouths to feed than ever before. Agriculture needs to meet bigger demands without compromising on quality and safety. We must continue to build our growing momentum by building communities, growing new markets, educating the public, finding new end uses for crops, and fostering advocacy.

The 2019 March Classic will showcase how Canada pushes boundaries, and attendees will hear from speakers who are growing momentum for Canada, its reputation, and their own businesses. Confirmed speakers include Rick Mercer, Jennifer Moss, and Peter Mackay. This is a unique opportunity to learn what it takes for agriculture to thrive in a world of cynicism, misinformation, and five-second attention spans. For more information go to  •


All current Grain Farmers of Ontario farmer-members that attend their January District Meeting will receive a Grain Farmers of Ontario license plate cover and have a chance to win one of three getaways:

Grand Prize: Trip for two to the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
1st Runner up prize: Weekend for two at Deerhurst in Huntsville.
2nd Runner up prize: Weekend for two at Hockley Valley Resort near Orangeville.

Three people at each January District Meeting will be picked as finalists and will be entered into the draw for the getaways. All finalists will receive a Grain Farmers of Ontario prize pack. Full contest terms and conditions are available at  •


by Philip Shaw

On October 11, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) decreased U.S. corn yield to 180.7 bushels per acre with total production coming in at 14.8 billion bushels. Expected harvested acreage is down 1% from 2017 at 81.8 million acres of corn. The USDA also re-upped their soybean estimates, putting 2018 national yield at 53.1 bu/ac of soybeans, up from 52.8 bu/ac in September making overall soybean production at 4.69 billion bushels. The new crop soybean ending stocks have ballooned up to 885 million bushels, reflecting record production and absent Chinese demand.

Wheat planting ramped up in the dry window in late October, before being shut down by rain. Expect 950,000 acres of wheat to be planted this fall. The Canadian dollar continues to flutter in the 76 cent U.S. level, helping maintain Ontario basis levels. •


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