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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 April/May 2019


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

Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario

What is Grain Farmers of Ontario asking the federal political parties to commit to getting done if they are elected in October to form Canada’s next government?

There are a few key areas that we want to focus on: carbon tax, trade, and business risk management. I want to tackle risk management programming first. When markets react to forces outside our control, such as weather, the current programs set in place through the government are not adequate to help farmers.

On this topic, our main messages to MPs if farmer-members are meeting with them are:

  1. Crop Insurance works and is a good program, but the value of AgriStability has been eroded by past program changes and provides insufficient coverage.
  2. In order to support Canadian agriculture, one of Canada’s largest sustained industries, we need a government committed to working with farmers to build programming that is realistic for modern farm operations and ensure continued economic sustainability.
  3. Grain Farmers of Ontario has a prototype of a program that can truly provide grain farmers with a bankable, predictable risk coverage helping farmers have the confidence they need to invest in their businesses that will yield economic growth for Canada’s economy.

I will cover carbon tax and trade in upcoming issues of Ontario Grain Farmer in Ask the Chair. •

Do you have a question for our chair? Email


Thank you to all of our farmer-members who completed the 2018 membership survey. All surveys have now been processed and names were randomly selected for our prize draws. Congratulations to the following winners:

Three prize winners of a Carhartt jacket: Henry VanTil, Dave Webster, Reg Gurney

10 Grain Farmers of Ontario prize pack winners: Heather Miller, Scott Rathwell, Jeff Coatsworth, David Major, Harold Peddle, Scott Brown, Edward Grant, Sara Wood, Perry Hunter, and a farmer from Thamesville. •


The Farm Tax Program is staying the same, but farmland owners will now contact Agricorp for eligibility and enrolment, instead of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). This change will make things easier for farmland owners who already contact Agricorp for the Farm Business Registration (FBR) program. FBR is a requirement for the Farm Tax Program. Agricorp, MPAC, and municipalities work together to administer the Farm Tax Program. The property tax rate is provided by the farmland owner’s municipality. For more information go to •


Farmers and other agri-businesses can now apply for support under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) for projects to boost innovation, economic development, environmental stewardship, and food safety.

The new intake for cost-share funding is open until May 6, 2019. More information is available on the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) website The OSCIA is delivering Partnership cost-share funding programs. •


Did you know? Grain Farmers of Ontario has a webpage dedicated to farmer health: The page features contact information for support providers, tips for maintaining wellness, and links to other resources.

A series of Stress Management workshops are being offered to help farmer-members manage their day-to-day stressors. Check the webpage for additional details and registration information. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario is offering a new approach to our marketing seminars. This year, a series of webinars (approximately 45 minutes in length) will feature an Introduction to Futures and an Introduction to Options. Future webinars will cover Technical Analysis.

Upcoming webinars will be held on April 3 and April 17. You can register online at or call Marty Hibbs 519-767-4123. •


Farmer-members and industry associates who have changes to their mailing address or wish to cancel their subscription to the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine can contact Phaedra McIntosh, Grain Farmers of Ontario database coordinator, at or 519-767-4130. •


Grain Farmers of Ontario congratulates Don Carruthers, advertising sales representative, on his retirement. Don has spent more than 30 years working in the media sales business and has handled advertising for the Ontario Grain Farmer and sponsorships for the March Classic since the inception of our organization. We thank Don for his service and wish him much enjoyment in his retirement.

For advertising inquiries, please contact Rachel Telford, managing editor at •


by Philip Shaw

On February 8, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced their final estimates of the 2018 crop delayed from January because of the government shutdown. They decreased national corn yield 2.5 bushel/acre from their November estimate to 176.4 bushel/acre. This put U.S. national corn production at 14.42 billion bushels. On the soybean side, USDA announced a record production of 4.54 billion bushels based on a slightly below average yield of 51.6 bushels per acre. In Brazil, soybeans continue to be harvested and recent rains have helped the Safrinha corn crop. Grain futures prices have declined in response.

In Ontario, basis values for corn, soybeans, and wheat have retreated from last month as the Canadian dollar has gained against the U.S. dollar and end users have decreased bids. •


In this issue: